Trouble for HP’s Autonomy Acquisition?

I’ve been see­ing a stream of tweets pass my twit­ter feed today call­ing ques­tion to HP’s pur­chase of Auton­omy. At the time of the acqui­si­tion, there was all sorts of buzz that one of HP’s rea­sons for buy­ing into the ECM/DAM space was to mold itself after Big Blue and shed some of it’s consumer-centric divi­sions. Is this (another) nail in the cof­fin for HP

Oh, the Drama!

CMS Wire is report­ing:

Accord­ing to CEO Meg Whit­man, some­one had been cook­ing the books before the deal was inked.

Reuters is say­ing that: 

HP alleged… Autonomy’s for­mer man­age­ment inflated rev­enue and gross mar­gins. It said Auton­omy exec­u­tives mis­char­ac­ter­ized rev­enue from low-end hard­ware sales as soft­ware sales and booked some licens­ing deals with part­ners as rev­enue, even though no cus­tomer bought the product.

On USA Today’s site Matt Krantz reports HP told it’s investors they’re going to “write-down” some $8 plus bil­lion in earn­ings because of the ordeal and goes one to say: 

The size and scope of the charge is stag­ger­ing, given that the $8.8 bil­lion finan­cial hit is nearly as large as the $10 bil­lion HP paid for the com­pany. But the com­pany, in a release, said: “We remain 100% com­mit­ted to Auton­omy and its industry-leading technology.”

I do love a good cor­po­rate drama, and this has the mak­ings of a tan­ta­liz­ing soap opera.

Edit: My good friend, Beth Pariseau, pointed me to a great arti­cle by the WSJ on the whole HP-Autonomy mess.

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