Today, Autonomy was called out publicly by HP and CEO Meg Whitman for what appears to be obvious fraud when the company had its books crash down around its ears. In a segment on CNBC, Whitman went on to point out that the deal by HP for the company had been sabotaged by poor information. SiliconANGLE’s John Furrier had the “scoop” on this story in that Mike Lynch and Autonomy never made their numbers and in fact were off by 90% of their forecasts.
In his own interview on CNBC, CEO Mike Lynch shifts the blame squarely onto HP’s shoulders for taking control of the company and makes claims of mismanagement. He alleges that the loss of the top talent and failures to follow the market led to the eventual decline and total systemic failure of Autonomy under HP’s direction.
Lynch is heard stating that he flatly rejects the premise that Autonomy misled investors and buyers (such as HP) as to their solvency and accounting practices.
Of course, looking at the past expectations of the business deal by HP for Autonomy’s assets, SiliconANGLE’s John Furrier himself didn’t believe that it was a good idea for HP to buy them (watch him talk about it in this video.) In fact, he felt that HP had overpaid for the company and that they had signed on at those high numbers too quickly. If this is true, then there certainly would have been overvaluation in play based on whatever was being sold at the time.
“I don’t believe him. It is being discussed that Autonomy’s Lynch never made a number,” says Furrier. “In the CNBC exclusive interview Mike Lynch said that he made his numbers in the first few quarters and that is a lie according to some of the conversations we are hearing.”
Other analysts at SiliconANGLE aren’t moved by the rejection of the allegations either, citing that if fraud did happen it’s not HP’s fault if they didn’t detect it:
“C’est la vie,” says Anton Wahlman, SiliconANGLE contributor; “sometimes due diligence isn’t good enough. In the real world, the nature of fraud is that it’s hard to detect.”