According to documents filed Monday with a US Federal Court in San Francisco, former Autonomy CFO Shushovan Hussain has filed a motion to challenge HP's settlement with its shareholders regarding its botched acquisition of the British software company.
Hussain is one of a handful of former Autonomy executives riled by HP, and many of them have made public statements lambasting the computing giant for its recent settlement with shareholders.
But so far, Hussain is the first member of Autonomy's former leadership team to challenge HP's settlement, which ultimately cleared HP executives of any wrongdoing during the acquisition debacle, and opened the door for legal action against ex-Autonomy executives.
Hussain was singled out as a potential legal target within the settlement, along with former Autonomy CEO Michael Lynch, with HP's shareholders giving attorneys the go-ahead to pursue claims against the two.
Lynch calls the settlement corrupt and has consistently denied HP's allegations of serious fraud on the part of Autonomy during the acquisition process. He offered the following emailed statement to Recode:
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.
Within the court filing, Hussain asserted that the settlement, if approved, would allow HP to "forever bury" the truth behind the acqusition and its massive write-down in 2012:
Mr. Hussain has an interest in challenging this collusive settlement because it would shield from adversarial examination the claims of wrongdoing by HP officials — claims suddenly now deemed to be 'without merit' — and further shield that wrongdoing from any future claims by Mr. Hussain when a suit is brought seeking to blame him instead. Indeed, 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.