Autonomy's ex-chief beancounter tries to kill HP investor settlement

Tech titan trying to 'forever bury' multi-billion writedown, claims bloke

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Autonomy's former chief financial officer has sought to block HP from settling three shareholder lawsuits over its botched acquisition of the British software company.

The former exec claims HP will use the settlements to "forever bury" its supposed culpability in the calamitous buy.

Sushovan Hussain, who served as Autonomy's CFO until its 2011 acquisition by HP, asked in documents filed in San Francisco on Monday for the US District Court to reject a settlement with shareholders HP was said to have reached last month.

"By this settlement, HP seeks to forever bury from disclosure the real reason for its 2012 write-down of Autonomy: HP's own destruction of Autonomy's success after the acquisition," the filing reads.

"And by the broad bar order it seeks, HP seeks to absolve itself of its own responsibility for its losses."

HP bought UK data search and analysis company Autonomy for $10.7bn in 2011. In November 2012 it claimed it had found "serious accounting improprieties" that caused it to write off $8.8bn from the transaction.

This led to a massive selloff of HP shares. Autonomy has denied any wrongdoing, and has long argued that it played by the rules and that some HP executives knew about its accounting practices prior to the acquisition.

Now Hussain is requesting the release of documents relating to the acquisition, in addition to internal HP reports that allegedly cleared certain HP executives from coming under legal scrutiny. Hussein himself is a target in a planned HP lawsuit against former Autonomy managers.

"Mr Hussain's opposition to the settlement is baseless," an HP spokesperson said in a statement emailed to El Reg.

Former Autonomy founder and chief executive Mike Lynch hit back at HP in a lengthy statement sent to The Register.

"This motion reveals the depth of the corruption that permeates the settlement," Lynch said.

"The lawyers who spent more than a year documenting the errors and misrepresentations of HP executives in their acquisition and integration of Autonomy have been bought off by the promise of tens of millions of dollars. HP and its executives, who squandered billions of dollars and produced a report whitewashing the whole affair, avoid answering a single question.

"And the shareholders who have borne the losses get nothing, and learn nothing about what really happened. Three years on shareholders deserve more than this, they deserve answers. Meg Whitman needs to give those answers under the threat of perjury." ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
prev story


Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.