Menu
Whitman says HP '100 per cent committed' to Autonomy products

Whitman says HP '100 per cent committed' to Autonomy products

HP sought to assure its customers it would continue to develop and support Autonomy products

HP CEO Meg Whitman

HP CEO Meg Whitman

Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman has moved to reassure customers that the future of its Autonomy product line is safe, a day after HP disclosed an alleged accounting scandal at the company it acquired last year.

"We remain 100 percent committed to Autonomy and its industry-leading technology," Whitman said during a webcast for Autonomy customers on Wednesday.

Whitman and other HP executives said HP will continue to invest in and support Autonomy's products, which include tools for data analysis, archiving and backup, as well as for Web content management.

"We continue to have high expectations for this business," said George Kadifa, the executive vice president in charge of HP software.

Whitman also hosted a call earlier Wednesday for the employees in its Autonomy division, to prop up their morale after the accounting problems HP disclosed Tuesday.

HP was "terribly worried" about how the scandal would affect the employees, Whitman said. "How would you feel? You would feel abandoned and cheated," she said.

"What we said is, 'This is not your fault. Even if you are in the finance department this is not your fault, because this was the result of a willful effort on the part of a small number of Autonomy employees."

HP dropped a bombshell Tuesday when it revealed that Autonomy had allegedly been cooking its books before HP bought the company last year for US$10.3 billion. Autonomy's former management denies the charges.

According to HP, Autonomy took steps to make the company look more profitable than it really was, including selling software into its channel even though there were no end customers to buy those products. It also allegedly booked some low-margin hardware sales as higher-margin software sales.

As a result of the alleged fraud, HP booked a charge of $8.8 billion against its profit last quarter, about $5 billion of which was to better reflect the true value of Autonomy.

On Wednesday, Whitman also sought to reassure HP's customers about the company's finances. Despite booking a huge loss for the last quarter, HP generated more than $4 billion in cash flow from operations, she said, part of which was used to pay down HP's debt.

"You should feel quite reassured about our financial position," she said.

HP ended the last fiscal year with $21.8 billion in long-term debt.

Many of the questions customers asked on the webcast had to do with HP's plans for Autonomy products moving forward. When will HP articulate a detailed product road map for Autonomy? one customer asked.

Autonomy had about 50 products in five categories, Kadifa said. "This is something we expect to start sharing with customers in the first half of next year," he said.

Another customer asked about HP's plans to "right its ship."

"I've already made some big changes," Whitman said. "Mike Lynch and his entire senior management team is gone," she said, referring to Autonomy's former CEO. He was asked to leave HP earlier this year after "substantially missing his numbers," Whitman said.

Another customer wanted to know if the problems with Autonomy stemmed from a "failure of due diligence."

"I don't think so," Whitman replied. The purchase was overseen by HP 's previous management, she said -- though she acknowledged being on HP's board at the time and voting for the transaction. The auditing was handled by Deloitte, she said, "not exactly a Brand X auditor."

Follow Us

Join the ARN newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesAutonomyhardware systemsCivil lawsuitslegalsoftwareSEC FilingsHewlett-PackardCriminalservices

Upcoming

Slideshows

IN PICTURES: Nutanix's .NEXT channel event in Sydney (+20 photos)

IN PICTURES: Nutanix's .NEXT channel event in Sydney (+20 photos)

Nutanix recently held its customer and channel event, .NEXT, in Sydney. The event, held at the Sheraton on the Park saw attendance from more than 150 channel and technology partners and customers. It was the first in a series of events Nutanix is holding in A/NZ in August and September, the objective of which is to brief partners and customers on “what’s next” in the design and management of datacentre technology.

IN PICTURES: Nutanix's .NEXT channel event in Sydney (+20 photos)
IN PICTURES: EDGE 2015 sponsor debrief (+23 photos)

IN PICTURES: EDGE 2015 sponsor debrief (+23 photos)

Some of the sponsors of ARN's inaugural EDGE 2015 event got together at the ARN office for a debrieef of the event. Over some drinks and cheese, these attendees got an update on some key statistics that arose from the EDGE event and discussed potential topics and improvements that can be made at next year's event.

IN PICTURES: EDGE 2015 sponsor debrief (+23 photos)
IN PICTURES: ARN Distributor Roundtable, Sydney, 26.08.15 (+26 photos)

IN PICTURES: ARN Distributor Roundtable, Sydney, 26.08.15 (+26 photos)

ARN hosted a distributor roundtable at Cafe Del Mar in Sydney, at which attendees and their partners discussed the changing role of the traditional IT distributor. They spoke about the challenges of digital disruption, the blurring lines of the channel in the age of digital transformation, and examined the ever-evolving business models. This roundtable was sponsored by Distribution Central, Exclusive Networks, Rhipe, and Hemisphere Technologies. Photos by ARN Editorial Director, Mike Gee.

IN PICTURES: ARN Distributor Roundtable, Sydney, 26.08.15 (+26 photos)

iasset.com is a channel management ecosystem that automates all major aspects of the entire sales, marketing and service process, including data tracking, integrated learning, knowledge management and product lifecycle management.

Show Comments