Autonomy management walk out over HP bureaucracy

24 May 2012
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HP is "exceedingly difficult" to work with, according to sources

Autonomy chief Mike Lynch was only the latest in a string of senior management to step away from HP in recent weeks.

HP bought the British software firm for $10bn last year, during a turbulent time at the PC maker, when then CEO Leo Apotheker tried to reinvent HP as an enterprise IT company.

Today, HP announced it was slashing 27,000 jobs globally, including that of Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch.

Sources have told PC Pro his departure isn't the first among Autonomy's senior management, with CFO Steve Chamberlain, president and head of sales Sushovan Hussein, CTO Pete Menell, COO Andy Kanter, CMO Nicole Eagan and Martina King, the head of virtual reality project Aurasma, all leaving in the past few weeks. The firm's head of legal and several regional sales chiefs have also departed.

A source close to Autonomy told PC Pro that the departures are borne out of frustration with the new parent company, saying it was "exceedingly difficult to get anything done" with HP.

Not all senior management have jumped ship, with "at least half of them standing tall", the source added, but another source pointed out it's "hard to deliver when the team has gone".

Richard Holway, an analyst at TechMarketView, said it appeared it was "HP bureaucracy that caused most of management team and many of the top developers to walk in the last few months".

"We hear tales of HP conference calls with 53 HP attendees to one from Autonomy," he said in a blog post. "We hear of small operational decisions involving huge HP input and delay. It was a bit like GM trying to run an F1 team."

HP declined to comment on the departures, bar confirming that Lynch has left the company.

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