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Who is to blame for the HP's £5.5bn writedown of Autonomy?

Derek du Preez | Nov. 26, 2012
HP’s £5.5 billion writedown of Autonomy and the shock fraud allegations that claim it misled HP prior to it being acquired for £6.5 billion in 2011 has resulted in the IT industry pointing the finger of blame in all possible directions.

However, he argues that if the allegations are true, this then "casts an even bigger shadow over nearly aspect of governance at our largest companies", as Autonomy was a FTSE 100 company for many years and would have been audited time and time again.

However, Holway also draws HP's role into question.

He said: "There is little doubt that Lynch's reputation and Autonomy's place as an icon for the UK tech sector has been damaged. But HP's reputation is in tatters. HP's board has limped from one disaster to another over years.

"Its board comes over as dysfunctional. Its M&A record is about the worst you can have. It has destroyed considerable shareholder value. It's #1 position in almost every sector of the tech sector has been conceded to others."

He concludes: "Some say the worst is now over for HP. I'm not so sure."


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