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Autonomy management walk out over HP bureaucracy

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By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 24 May 2012 at 11:15

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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User comments

As much as this is a personal blow for Mike, it does mean that he's now back in a position to formulate a new Company - hopefully back here in Cambridge.

By Ex_Sailor on 24 May 2012

My organisation has removed dozens of targets and replaced 'em with just a few generalised ones, and given local managers (almost) complete flexibility in how they allocate staff and run their patch. Looks like HP did the opposite. Funny thing is, they're big business and mine's a behemoth of a government department.

By Mark_Thompson on 24 May 2012


This must be a classic opportunity for Mike Lynch to take all his top management team, poach the rest of the staff from HP and form another startup and whip HP's ass.

By rip_tractorboy on 27 May 2012

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