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Meg Whitman Says HP Was Defrauded By Autonomy; HP Stock Plunges 237

Posted by timothy
from the damn-english-ravines dept.
McGruber writes "CNBC is reporting that Meg Whitman claims HP was defrauded in its purchase of Autonomy. 'We believed there is a willful effort on the part of certain members of Autonomy management to mislead shareholders when Autonomy was a publicly traded company, and to mislead potential buyers including HP,' Whitman said. 'We stand by the forensic review that we've seen,' she added. I wish her the same level of success I had when I filed an eBay claim." Also covered at SlashBI, which names the write-down damage: $8.8 billion.
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Meg Whitman Says HP Was Defrauded By Autonomy; HP Stock Plunges

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  • Meg, Carly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tekrat (242117) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:18PM (#42043413) Homepage Journal

    This is a love letter...

    Please don't run any other companies into the groud. Please stop whatever you're doing and go home, and avoid public life as a CEO, or politician. You've both proven you don't know jack.
    The world would be better off without either of you.

    Thanks;
    The rest of the planet.

    • Re:Meg, Carly (Score:5, Informative)

      by shawn(at)fsu (447153) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:20PM (#42043445) Homepage

      She wasn't the CEO of HP when the acquisition happend this one isn't her fault.

      • Re:Meg, Carly (Score:5, Informative)

        by localman57 (1340533) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:30PM (#42043585)

        She wasn't the CEO of HP when the acquisition happend this one isn't her fault.

        It's at least partially her fault. Per the FA:

        In an interview with CNBC, Whitman said she regretted voting to approve the deal with Autonomy,

        • I don't doubt that Autonomy willfully deceived HP, trying to make their company look better than it was. That's just what startups do, and it's why buyers need due diligence.

          However, if there are no lawsuits and no one goes to jail for fraud, then Occam's razor suggests the fault for a bad purchase goes to HP.
          • HP has asked the USA and UK to start a criminal investigation - not civil.

            And Meg did thrown in the phrase “deliberate misrepresentation”, which crosses the big red line between window dressing and outright fraud.

            So, yeah, grab some popcorn and what the show.

        • Re:Meg, Carly (Score:5, Interesting)

          by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:58PM (#42044945) Journal
          Oh, it's all HP's fault. Check this out. [oracle.com]

          1) Autonomy tried to sell to Oracle for $6billion, which Oracle rejected as overpriced.
          2) Autonomy CEO denied ever trying to sell to Oracle, said Oracle didn't know anything about Autonomy's financials.
          3) Oracle called the Autonomy CEO a LIAR, publicly, and shared his presentation with the whole world to prove it.

          They put all the info on a page called, "Please Buy Autonomy." You can read it now yourself and decide if you would have bought autonomy in 2011. I've always thought Oracle would be a miserable place to work, but now I see some people are definitely having fun, just not programmers.
          • Mod this up. It's fascinating!

          • by mbkennel (97636)

            "I've always thought Oracle would be a miserable place to work, but now I see some people are definitely having fun, just not programmers."

            I've always thought Oracle would be a miserable place to work, but now I see Larry Ellison definitely having fun, just not people-who-are-not-Larry.

            FTFY

          • by durdur (252098)

            Oracle has its issues, to be sure, but they have been fairly careful about doing acquisitions (despite doing a lot of them), and have a better track record than Hp of keeping the businesses they bought alive and making profits (not to say that they've never had misses).

      • by crgrace (220738)

        True, but if you read the article you'd see that the Autonomy writedown is only a portion of the loss.

        • by whoever57 (658626) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:55PM (#42043995) Journal

          True, but if you read the article you'd see that the Autonomy writedown is only a portion of the loss.

          Actually, you have that back-to-front. The loss was $6.9B while the writedown was $8.8B, so without the writedown, HP would have reported a profit!

        • True, but if you read the article you'd see that the Autonomy writedown is only a portion of the loss.

          The $8.8 billion Autonomy write-down is "only" about 127% of the $6.9 billion quarterly loss.

      • Re:Meg, Carly (Score:4, Informative)

        by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:53PM (#42043957)

        She wasn't the CEO of HP when the acquisition happend this one isn't her fault.

        Nor has she "run any other companies into the ground". Ebay's revenues increased by 200000% while she was CEO. Meg Whitman is not Carly Fiorina. Unlike Carly, Meg has a solid track record as a successful CEO.

        • Re:Meg, Carly (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Ryanrule (1657199) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:42PM (#42044675)

          A dead parrot could have run ebay just as well. They were alone in a huge growth market.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mcrbids (148650)

          Two words: Skype purchase.

          When Meg took over as CEO, the company was already headed skyward, already had upward momentum. Mostly she just had to not screw up too badly to make it successful. EBay was actually rather late to implement such features as "Buy it now" which were already innovated in competing marketplaces that didn't have the same mind share. (I should'a patented that one, oh well)

          Ebay's purchase of Skype was the most random purchase ever, it was for a quajillion dollars (Ebay lost virtually all

          • Re:Meg, Carly (Score:5, Informative)

            by Zalbik (308903) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @03:27PM (#42045357)

            Ebay's purchase of Skype was the most random purchase ever, it was for a quajillion dollars (Ebay lost virtually all of it) and they didn't even buy the source code.

            No...Ebay eventually made money on the Skype purchase.

            They bought for 2.6 billion in 2005

            Sold 70% of it for $1.9 billion in 2009

            Made an additional $2.55 billion when Microsoft bought the remaining 30%.

            So they actually made 1.85 billion on an initial investment of 2.6 billion. Not terrible over 7 years.

          • Re:Meg, Carly (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @04:03PM (#42045805)

            Two words: Skype purchase.

            Two more words: Paypal purchase.

            Probably the best business move that Ebay ever made - sucks for customers but the vertical monopoly it created is great for Ebay. Also occured while Whitman was CEO there.

            I'm not a Whitman sycophant, I just think that if you are going to cherry-pick you should at least pick a good cherry when you pick a bad one.

      • But she was on the board and did vote in favor. So, the primary fault should be assigned to the old CEO, but she has to take some of the blame.

      • FTA:

        "Whitman said she regretted voting to approve the deal with Autonomy"

        CEO, no. On the board that also approved the buy out, yes.
    • Dear HP,

      Why don't you just print yourself some more money, or have you run out of toner?

  • Red herring (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Runesabre (732910) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:20PM (#42043451) Homepage

    I find it hard to believe that the management of HP failed to uncover fraud of this magnitude during their evaluation in the purchase of Autonomy. What this really means is management failed to do their due diligence in evaluating Autonomy and now need to to distract from poor financial performance due to a lack of competence at the executive level.

    • Re:Red herring (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:38PM (#42043723)

      I think it's clear that the HP management needs a massive pay rise while everyone else in HP needs to take a pay cut and work longer hours to cover this loss!

      • No, no. You're thinking in the right direction, but not going far enough. A mere 'massive' pay raise can't possibly help the company enough to pull it out of the slump it's in. HP executives need a truly epic pay raise, at least two orders of magnitude more than there making now. And as for having workers work longer hours... while I'm sure you didn't plan on paying those workers for longer hours, more work does mean more costs for HP. Along with gargantuan pay raises, HP needs to fire workers. Lots of work

    • by fermion (181285)
      Management wants the common person to believe they are supreme deities so they can justify the huge compensation, but in reality they are just people who are usually overpaid. Being overpaid is not a big thing, it is what most of us aspire to, but being not especially competent is.

      Some sales are made because current owners or management does not have the ability to deal with current situation or take advantage of current opportunities, but I think most purchases are like buying a used car, it is being so

    • by Kergan (780543)

      I find it hard to believe that the management of HP failed to uncover fraud of this magnitude during their evaluation in the purchase of Autonomy.

      Really? In an era where regulators can't tell when a company's books are cooked [wikipedia.org], let a former Nasdaq chairman can run the largest Ponzi ever [wikipedia.org], and let insider traders and naked (aka illegal) short sellers cripple businesses and lives [deepcapture.com] (mostly [wikipedia.org]) unworried, I fail to see what makes you think that HP's staff and lawyers might do a better job at identifying cooked books.

      • by Runesabre (732910)

        Regulators don't have the same skin in the game that company executives have with their own company. Oversight committees and regulators will never have the same level of motivation to ferret out every little detail because frankly there's no financial incentive to do so. It's not like regulators will make any more money working harder and longer by discovering fraud than if they just put in their 9-5. C-level execs, on the other hand, stand to make huge windfalls with these kinds of large deals and will

        • by Kergan (780543)

          Regulators don't have the same skin in the game that company executives have with their own company.

          If hundreds of billions in taxpayer-funded bailouts, not to mention trillions in FED-related balance sheet tricks, is not having skin in the game, I'm not sure what can possibly be...

          Oversight committees and regulators will never have the same level of motivation to ferret out every little detail because frankly there's no financial incentive to do so.

          You might hold a very different opinion if a tax inspector ever gives more than a cursory look into your or your company's returns. They ruthlessly request explanations and justifications for even the most trivial-looking details, and they're absolutely merciless if they find anything worth their time. They're commissioned on w

    • My guess (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:01PM (#42044087)
      I'm just making a wild guess here, but maybe upper HP management decided that Autonomy was the only possible means of getting HP back on track. This probably filtered down the chain of command to the people doing the investigation. They may have just chosen to gloss over anything that seemed funny because they were convinced that management did not want to find any problems as if this acquisition didn't go through, HP was going to get beat up financially in the stock market and more layoffs were likely. Or we have to accept that Autonomy was just insanely good at hiding their malfeasance even though various stock traders had been shorting the stock for months because they felt their financials were fishy and somehow the traders figured out what the investigators couldn't. I find that unlikely.

      I see this as kind of a variation on the way that decisions sometimes got made in the old USSR. During the days of the Soviet Union, bureaucrats got into the habit of anticipating the needs/wishes of their superiors. I'm guessing that there's probably a culture of fear in HP where the masses are afraid of layoffs and those at the top probably shoot the messengers when they get bad news, so this was a natural outcome.
    • Re:Red herring (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Patch86 (1465427) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:03PM (#42044137)

      Autonomy was a successful money-making business. When HP bought it, there wasn't a soul alive who couldn't see that they were paying an extremely generous price. Take the following article on the BBC at the time:
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14582489 [bbc.co.uk]

      HP paid 64% above the publicly-traded market price for the company. On the markets hearing the news, HP shares ended the trading day 7.6% down, making them the worst faller in the Dow Jones Industrial Average that day.

      Maybe the management at Autonomy were telling porkies to convince HP to pay that much- but why the hell would HP swallow it? If everybody else could see it was mad, why couldn't they?

      • Re:Red herring (Score:5, Informative)

        by greg1104 (461138) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:15PM (#42044277) Homepage

        Here is the important line from the article you quoted:

        "The implied valuation of the company is equivalent to 47 times the pre-tax profits earned by Autonomy in the 12 months to June this year."

        If you buy a company on valuation terms like that, the way HP did, whoever voted for the decision should be held accountable by their stockholders and be facing jail time. If it happened because Autonomy sold them some story about future profit magic and they bought it, that does not change the fact that HP was criminally negligent in paying that much for a company.

        • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

          That is not a red herring. Really this is pretty simple: if Autonomy engaged in fraud in reporting their earnings, HP is (largely) off the hook. Fraud invalidate their market capitalization before the offer as a basis for price paid.

          That said, HP... well... what can you really say-- they are the epitome of Epic Fail from Carly on.

      • This is equivalent paying over Blue Book value for a stolen car that is not only on fire, but is also involved in a high-speed chase with the police during the purchase.
    • Re:Red herring (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:26PM (#42044423)

      I find it hard to believe that the management of HP failed to uncover fraud of this magnitude ...

      I have sat on a few boards (none nearly as big as HP) and I am not surprised in the least. The CEO wants to "make a deal" to "execute a strategic vision". So he sells it to the board, which is too busy with pissing contests and bike shed arguments [wikipedia.org] to spend much time on it. Then the deal is publicly announced. Only then is the "due diligence" done. If any problem is found, there is enormous pressure to "make the deal happen" to avoid losing face by unwinding the deal. 80% of all mergers end badly for both customers and shareholders, yet every CEO thinks his deal is one of the other 20%. HP was in a bad situation, with their commodity businesses in PCs and printers generating little profit and even less growth. So their "strategic vision" was to move into software and services. The Autonomy merger was part of that, and if it fell apart other potential partners would shy away, and the strategy shift would likely fail. So it is likely that the accountants pointed out lots of problems, but were overruled by people with too much at stake to let the deal fall through.

    • by sjames (1099)

      Remember folks, *THIS* is why they make the big bux!

    • by xs650 (741277)

      I find it hard to believe that the management of HP failed to uncover fraud of this magnitude during their evaluation in the purchase of Autonomy.

      I don't find it hard to believe at all.

    • by SeaFox (739806)

      I find it hard to believe that the management of HP failed to uncover fraud of this magnitude during their evaluation in the purchase of Autonomy. What this really means is management failed to do their due diligence in evaluating Autonomy...

      That's pretty much how I read the summary. HP makes a bad purchasing decision, and later management makes the excuse that Autonomy "tricked them" in some way into buying them. I even heard it in the voice of a couple kids on the playground in my head.

  • Crashy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tomalpha (746163) * on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:24PM (#42043497)
    I remember waybackwhen I last used Autonomy's categorisation and search engine. It wasn't very reliable and I never thought it did a very good job - neither the categorisation nor the searching. It always felt like a triumph of sales over engineering. I was amazed at the sale price to HP when it happened. Maybe this is something different, but somehow it rings true.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Iniamyen (2440798)
      I remember waybackwhen I last consumed a Hostess Twinkie. It wasn't very edible and I never thought it was very satisfying - neither the breading nor the creamy center. It always felt like a triumph of sales over cooking. I was amazed what the labor unions wanted from the company when Hostess went under. Maybe this is something different, but somehow it rings true.
  • Wait a second... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:25PM (#42043513) Journal

    So, an 8.8 billion write-down on an 11.2 billion purchase and they are only alleging that "serious improprieties", rather than something like "epic, the-whole-boardroom-is-going-to-federal-country-club-for-maybe-five-years-or-so, fraud"?

    Either corporate PR drivel is unusually polite, or white collar crime is absurdly superior on a risk/reward basis compared to little people crime...

    • Are you kidding? They're the elite! We're talking 100k fine, tops!

    • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:20PM (#42044347) Homepage
      Or losing $8.8 billion isn't that big of a deal to a company with revenues of $127 billion. A proportional loss to a middle-class family ($50,000 income) would be about $3,500. To use the obligatory car analogy, it's like buying a car that turns out to be a cleverly-concealed rusted-out lemon. Serious improprieties, and someone clearly screwed up badly, but it's not a company-risking mistake.
    • by Kergan (780543)

      The latter. The best way to rob a bank is to own one [utexas.edu]

    • "or white collar crime is absurdly superior on a risk/reward basis compared to little people crime..."

      Many years ago (so adjust for inflation) I had a friend of mine tell me that an attorney friend of his told him that if he ever stole/defrauded for less than a million, he was an idiot and would go to jail. If more than a million, call me and we will work something out. So, yes, the rules are different.
  • Mike Lynch, the former CEO of Autonomy, has had a "midas touch" with respect to companies he has been associated with. He is commonly referred to as the "Bill Gates of the UK." The short time I worked for Autonomy (after they bought Verity, my former employer) my stock options showed surprising appreciation. Like google, their business is based on unstructured search algorithms. But their algorithm (Shannon's Information Theory) is published and peer reviewed.
  • Why is everyone bashing HP and Meg Whitman for this? The purchase happened pre-Meg, and this write-off is a great decision on HP's part. There's a fair chance that the purchase decision wasn't even as poor as HP's making it out to be, and this write-off is just being maximized for tax purposes.

    Hate HP for making us individual taxpayers pick up the slack, but don't hate them for being stupid (in this case).

    • by garyebickford (222422) <gar37bic.gmail@com> on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:31PM (#42044513)

      Hate HP for making us individual taxpayers pick up the slack

      So you are arguing that taxes should be paid on total gross revenue, regardless of costs? That's gonna make your grocery bill go up by about 30% (grocery stores typically run on 2% to 5% margins, so taxing on gross revenues instead of profits means they will pay taxes of 35% of the total bill rather than on the 2% profit.)

      I'll just add that according to many economists, as a class corporations essentially don't pay taxes - they only pass those taxes on to customers (whether corporate or individual) as increased prices.

      And if you think the money just goes to management, that's rarely true (though widely publicized). When competition is working as it should, corporations that keep the money that would have gone to taxes will be forced to reduce their prices to match their competitors. And if board management is working (which it often isn't), even if they can keep the prices and profits up, the money will be passed to the investors as dividends and/or stock price increases. Since the vast, vast majority of stock is held by institutions such as 401-K funds, pension funds and the like, most of the money still ends up eventually in the hands of individuals like you and me.

  • by Fubari (196373) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:51PM (#42043923)

    Kind of depressing hearing about HP.
    Step 1. Buy a really expensive company.
    Step 2. Ignore it for a year or so.
    Step 3. Rationalizing how to dramatically throw it away.
    Step 4. Profit? Whats a few billion $ between friends?

    Here's a longgg list of HP acquisitions [wikipedia.org].

    Some of the more notable ones that caught my eye:
    Verifone 1997 $1.1 (billions)
    Compaq 2002 24.0
    P&G IT: 2003 3.0
    Peregrin 2005 0.4
    MercuryInter. 2006 4.5
    Knightsbridge 2006 ?
    Opsware 2007 1.6
    EDS 2008 13.9
    3Com 2010 2.7
    Palm, Inc 2010 1.2
    3PAR 2010 2.3
    ArcSight 2010 1.5
    Autonomy 2011 11.0
    So have any of these actually been profitable for HP ?
    I knew that Palm tanked (bye bye, WebOS).
    I haven't heard good things about Knightsbridge.
    Compaq seems like it was a break-even deal.
    • by sgtrock (191182) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:32PM (#42044527)

      There's a very persuasive argument to be made that the Compaq acquisition is what really finished HP as an engineering company. Apparently there was some ferocious in-fighting after it. Sadly, the Compaq guys won for the most part and took the company to an almost entirely sales and marketing based strategy.

      Those of us who cut our teeth on HP test equipment, early HP/UX workstations and servers, HP LaserJet printers, and HP calculators still mourn the death of Bill and Dave's dream. :-(

      • So that's what did it? I can remember a time when HP stuff was rock solid. And then it seemed to go down hill both hardware and software (driver) wise (I mostly dealt with servers and printers).

        I bought one, and only one, piece of hardware from Compaq...lesson learned with that piece of crap.
      • by HornWumpus (783565) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @03:26PM (#42045337)

        I'm looking forward to Agilent buying back the HP name from a bankruptcy court.

        Then again the court may wind up paying someone to take the brand over. They are approaching Packard-Bell in brand value.

      • by iamgnat (1015755)

        Those of us who cut our teeth on HP test equipment, early HP/UX workstations and servers, HP LaserJet printers, and HP calculators still mourn the death of Bill and Dave's dream. :-(

        HP/UX 9.04 was their peak and 10.x was the beginning of the disaster that is now HP. That was long before Compaq was involved.

        Damn. Now I'm missing my old 715/33.

    • They used to have a thing at HP called, "The HP Way."

      What you are describing, is sadly, "The New HP Way."

  • Nice bunch of people (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BigBadBus (653823) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:58PM (#42044051) Homepage
    I used to work for Autonomy. I have no sympathy for them.
    My little article is here [usenetreader.co.uk]
    After Autonomy's lawyers bullied me and anyone who supported me to take my article off line. I eventually lost my net access after Autonomy complained to BT, my ISP; they never issued an explanation or apology but still took money from my account. It took years and a letter to the BT chairman before I got a refund.
    The article was originally subtitled "Stress Is More Fun" but seems to have got lost; if you read the article, you'll find out why it had this moniker. To find out what others think, look at Glassdoor [glassdoor.com]
    • by jittles (1613415)

      I used to work for Autonomy. I have no sympathy for them. My little article is here [usenetreader.co.uk]

      I hate to seem rude, but you seem a tad bit overly sensitive. You also seemed to be pretty quick to point fingers yourself. Of course Autonomy was chasing the almighty dollar (or pound in your case). That's what corporations do. Certainly some corporations value employees more than others, but you have no employees if you have no money. Would it have made more sense to have the Spaniard fix his own code? Yes. Is it annoying to be asked to debug an issue that you know someone else can fix in 2 minutes

      • Your part of the reason IT has such a high churn rate.

        30c is NOT an acceptable temperature for an office, sure it can happen during extreme weather from time to time but in normal companies, everybody then works together to make conditions tolerable. Extra ventilators, portable AC's.

        IT needs all the people it can get and being a programmer is NOT supposed to be a stock exchange trader type job. Constant stress is not good for a job that relies a lot on creativity and deep thought.

        Your arguments don't even h

    • by Shatrat (855151)

      Man, that was a painful read. I'm starting to feel sorry for Autonomy. Not everything has to be persecution, sometimes people are just a bad fit.

    • by Alioth (221270)

      I agree with some of what you've written, but not all of it. What I agree with you is 1. the constant pestering (what a great way to kill productivity), 2. the unbearable heat in the office - we've had the same problem, and had a LOT of difficulty getting those who hold the purse strings to do something about it until legal requirements were pointed out about ventilation. It seemed like a pretty toxic work environment. I would have quit too.

      However, a software developer should be able to figure out for them

  • by tverbeek (457094) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:03PM (#42044133) Homepage

    "Autonomy"? I thought we were buying "Anonymous"!

  • by erp_consultant (2614861) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:04PM (#42044147)

    Ok, she is not directly responsible for this fiasco although she does admit to voting for the sale. Just seems odd that one bad move after another seems to follow her wherever she goes. Honestly, I think that her and Carly are locked in a fierce battle for worst CEO of all time. Oops...look out...Balmer is closing fast...

  • They should sue them! Oh wait, they own them. Damn, lol. My company actually did an even stupider, even more damaging acquisition in early 2011 so I can't laugh that hard but seriously, we have 4 servers and like 100 employees. When you scale up even higher, you should have the resources to look into this size of deal beforehand. I think she's just pulling ideas out of her ass so it looks like she's some big innovator and not properly reviewing them before implementing them. It's the "let's stop makin
  • Due Dilligence Fail (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dave562 (969951) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:43PM (#42044687) Journal

    It never ceases to amaze me how often this happens. I have seen it first hand during an acquisition I was aware of, and here it is at HP. In the case I was aware of, my co-workers and others were doing everything we could to illuminate the problems before the acquisition went through, but the concerns fell upon deaf ears. It took years to clean up that mess. Of course the senior management who were responsible for the acquisition came through it unscathed, while the rest of us worked our asses off to "make it work". It looks like the same thing happened at HP.

    As an executive, these people are paid to take care of these things. They are supposed to be able to handle M&A work. That is what all of those fancy degrees and business school is for. In the tech world, if you say that you can build an environment and then fail, it is obvious and you get fired. Yet some how in the C-suite world, if you say you can build a company and fail... nothing happens. I am totally in the wrong profession.

  • by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:44PM (#42044721)
    Shut up Meg.
    My warped mind goes there every time I see her name in an article.
  • keep the money when you gamble, but get taxpayers to bail you out is a scam that needs to end.
  • Trying to convince me that you examined and investigated a target with your top notch professional team and then did the deal and you bitch about it is an ADMISSION OF FAILURE.

    The CEO and the entire due diligence team should be canned along with board members who were involved in the deal.

  • by jrminter (1123885) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @04:04PM (#42045815)
    The statement that caused me most concern was, "'We stand by the forensic review that we've seen." Excuse me? Somebody didn't look closely enough. Wouldn't a deal this big require a bond? Were I an HP shareholder, that statement would start my petitions to the BOD that Meg should go. Were I an HP shareholder, I would expect at least a statement like: "We have commissioned an independent review to insure that our forensic accountants used due diligence. HP will actively support the authorities with appropriate jurisdiction in the prosecution any fraud." Hindsight is always 20:20, but the shareholders deserve a specific analysis of what went wrong and assurance that the company will support prosecution of fraud.
  • by FilmedInNoir (1392323) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @04:20PM (#42046017)
    Ummm I have a company it makes aaahhh $100 billion a year selling errr ping-pong balls online. Yeah. That's the ticket!
    I'm willing to sell for only $10 million.

    Yours Truly,
    Tommy Flanagan
  • by gelfling (6534) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @04:39PM (#42046237) Homepage Journal

    They are done. They are Alcatel and Xerox. They are profoundly broken and no amount of strategizing the paradigm and clousourcing the B2B experience is going to fix that. HP is now just a brand with nothing behind it and dysfunctional organization that doesn't know what the fuck its doing behind it.

    They finally reached the critical mass of disorganized bullshit and mismanaged acquisitions run by a senior staff of psychopathic feudal warlords who do nothing except protect their own shit while the CEO, is busy molesting secretaries or running for public office.

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