Report: Former HP CEO also blames board for Autonomy deal

HP's CEO during the Autonomy merger tells Bloomberg that the board should also share the blame.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Everyone is pointing fingers and playing the blame game in Hewlett-Packard's Autonomy debacle, and now the tech giant's leader at the time of the merger is getting involved.

Former HP CEO Leo Apotheker responded to Bloomberg this week, arguing that the company's board of directors should also take responsibility in this case.

Here's the email that Apotheker sent to Bloomberg:

No single CEO is ever able to make a decision on a major acquisition in isolation, particularly at a company as large as HP -- and certainly not without the full support of the chairman of the board. The HP board, led by its chairman, met many times to review the acquisition and unanimously supported the deal, as well as the underlying strategic objective to bolster HP’s market presence in enterprise data.

For reference, Raymond Lane, HP's current Executive Chairman, has served in this role since September 2011. He also served as HP’s non-executive Chairman between November 2010 and September 2011. The $10.2 billion acquisition of Autonomy was announced in August 2011 and was completed by October 2011.

Here's a recap of some of the recent happenings in the HP-Autonomy kerfuffle. This all started after HP admitted in its fourth quarter earnings statement last month that the Autonomy purchase cost its software unit up to $8.8 billion.

On November 26, an HP investor filed a lawsuit at a federal court in San Francisco on Monday, alleging that the tech giant knew its statements about its Autonomy acquisition were misleading, which led the stock to fall.

The following day, Autonomy's founder and former CEO Mike Lynch got into an open letter war over allegations by HP regarding "serious accounting improprieties" that were said to have taken place at Autonomy before the acquisition was completed.

Moody's Investors Service has also downgraded HP's long-term credit rating from A3 to Baa1, which is three levels above junk, with a negative outlook.

For more coverage about HP and Autonomy on ZDNet:

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