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Autonomy founder attacks HP fraud charges with new website
Claims to represent former management team
British software entrepreneur and Autonomy founder Mike Lynch has launched a new website dedicated to airing his ongoing grievances with HP, which has accused him and other former Autonomy execs of misrepresenting the company's finances.
The site, which is hosted at AutonomyAccounts.org, says it aims to provide "relevant information pertaining to the accusations made by Hewlett Packard (HP) on 20 November 2012 of financial impropriety at Autonomy."
Claiming to be "a public point of contact for Dr. Mike Lynch and other former managers at Autonomy," the site collects statements, interviews, and information presented from Lynch's POV, along with a contact form for anyone who might wish to get in touch with the former Autonomy boss.
HP has accused Lynch and others of deceptive accounting practices that caused the value of Autonomy to be artificially inflated prior to HP acquiring it in August 2011. According to HP, those accounting irregularities were responsible for $5bn of the massive $8.8bn writedown HP took on the value of the company in November.
But Lynch disputes those claims, saying there's no way that HP's financial team – which included outside analysts from both KPMG and Ernst & Young – could have missed issues of such magnitude during its due-diligence process.
The centerpiece of the new site is an open letter to HP's board that Lynch first made public on November 27, in which he attributes Autonomy's decline to mismanagement under HP and demands a detailed explanation of the allegations the company has made against him.
In addition, the site includes a rather self-congratulatory biography of Lynch, along with a timeline of events that presents Autonomy's achievements in glowing terms, although it has little to mention following the acquisition by HP.
Lynch isn't the only one who questions HP's portrayal of events. In November, a group of HP investors launched the inevitable class action lawsuit against the company, claiming that HP has used its accusations against Lynch as a smokescreen to conceal its own bungling.
For its part, HP seems to be taking all of this in stride. "While Dr. Lynch is eager for a debate, we believe the legal process is the correct method in which to bring out the facts and take action on behalf of our shareholders," the company said in a statement in November, and it has remained mum on the matter ever since. ®