Lynch joins Autonomy exodus from HP

By Kevin McLaughlin on May 28, 2012 8:12 AM
Filed under Software

Latest in line of ditched execs.

Autonomy co-founder and CEO Mike Lynch will depart HP after a "transitional period," following a slew of Autonomy staff who have resigned since HP acquired the company last October. 

Around 20 percent of Autonomy workers have left the company since the $US10.3 billion acquisition, including Sushovan Hussein, president; Peter Menell, CTO; Nicole Eagan, CMO; Andy Kanter, COO; and Martina King, head of Aurasma, CRN has learned.

Autonomy CFO Steve Chamberlain jumped ship earlier this month to take on the same position at Sepura, a U.K.-based developer of digital radio technology. Hussein, Menell, Eagan and Kanter are all still listed as managers on Autonomy's website.

HP declined to confirm the Autonomy executive departures. An Autonomy spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

"It’s very common and very natural for entrepreneurs to move on following an acquisition, particularly when the day-to-day operations of the business become a bigger factor," HP said in an emailed statement.

At the time of the acquisition, Autonomy was Britain's largest software company by market capitalisation and had racked up several consecutive profitable quarters.

Its software had won the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise in 2009 and 2010. But the feel-good glow in the Autonomy team has dissipated in recent months, said a source, who requested anonymity.

"The mood is pretty disappointing and downbeat," said the source. "It just seems the acquisition did not go well, [with incompatibility between] culture, teams and so on."

HP said Autonomy suffered a "significant decline in license revenue" in its fiscal second quarter, and CEO Meg Whitman described Autonomy's results as "disappointing" in the company’s earnings call.

Whitman, who did not talk about Lynch's departure, remains bullish on Autonomy's technology, which allows computers to understand unstructured, or 'human friendly' information -- i.e. emails, Twitter posts, video and audio.

"This is a classic enterprise company scaling challenge, and I have seen this movie before," Whitman said in a Q&A during the call.

HP plans to cut 9000 positions in fiscal 2012 and 27,000 by the end of fiscal 2014. HP said the restructuring will save the company between $US3 billion and $US3.5 billion.

This article originally appeared at

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