Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman has found herself the center of the recent Autonomy controversy: she’s the one who disclosed the $8.8 billion write down on the deal at her company’s last earnings call, and she’s leading the charge against Autonomy’s former management. But for Whitman, it’s nothing personal – and she still has a lot of faith in the British firm’s products.
The chief executive addressed the deal during her keynote on day one of HP Discover, the conference that her company held this week in Europe.
“We remain 100 percent committed to Autonomy’s industry-leading technologies and its employees,” Whitman said in Frankfurt. Autonomy “will play a very significant role in our growth strategy moving forward,” she added.
Autonomy is a UK-based provider of data analytics and search leveraged by many large organizations, and the technology stands as one of the key pillars supporting HP’s plans to take over the next generation data center.
On the flip side of the coin, Autonomy is a liability. Its revenue plummeted by 90 percent in the first quarter after the deal went through, largely due to the fact the company couldn’t resume its fishy accounting practices under US jurisdiction. These same policies accounted for over half of the $8.8 billion HP had to write off, according to officials, and resulted in a $6.9 billion loss in HP’s most recent quarter.
All in all, however, Hewlett-Packard did not walk away from the deal empty handed out of the deal. Mark Hopkins shares Meg Whitman’s optimism to a certain degree for many of the same reasons she cited during her speech: the portfolio is strong, and HP is a very big company. The hardware giant reduced its debt by billions of dollars over the past few quarters, and its bolstering its offerings line-up in an aggressive push to siege a bigger chunk of the enterprise market.