back to article HP says it will sue former Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussein

HP has confirmed that it plans to sue Sushovan Hussain, the former chief financial officer of data analytics software firm Autonomy, whom HP claims "was one of the chief architects of the massive fraud" that forced HP to write down $8.8bn of the $10.2bn it paid to acquire Autonomy in 2011. In documents [PDF] filed with the US …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So HP Board and senior managers cover their incompetence yet again. No doubt they will then use US-UK extradition lovelies to threaten everyone on the other side. Having sold a (relatively very minor) piece of IP to HP I think I need to think about moving elsewhere in case those pricks fail to exploit it. France anyone? Oh no - the European Arrest Warrant will screw that.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow

    HP better be right on this. Publicly calling him a "fraudster" will cost them serious money if it can't be proven. But then again, they've pissed away billions already, what's a few more million?

    So sad to see what was once a remarkable company now spending its days frolicking in the muck. Guess they're hunting for their reputation.

    1. tirk
      Unhappy

      Re: Wow

      What do HP management care? It's not their money at risk, it's the shareholders after all.

      1. Fatman
        FAIL

        Re: Wow .. It's not their money at risk, it's the shareholders after all.

        Excellent point, and until the shareholders find some collective balls, and dump the BoD and the executive suite; they will continue to get fucked over.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow

      "So sad to see what was once a remarkable company now spending its days frolicking in the muck"

      Well it beats doing difficult stuff like sorting out the crummy performance of Enterprise Services. I was recently asked in an internal survey why I gave HP nil out of ten, and my response was "Because negative numbers were not allowed".

      To anybody contemplating outsourcing their IT to HP, I'd just ask why a company too stupid and incompetent to do proper due diligence will be competent running your IT? And why other HP customers experience of dreadful service and cost escalation won't apply to you? And why when other customers find that the supposedly balanced contract that includes enforceable SLA terms are not worth the bog roll they are written on, should you assume that your company's experience will be different?

      Nature's way of saying "Toxic, avoid" is two letters: HP.

    3. auburnman

      Re: Wow

      They had already gone far enough with accusations that any backdown will cost them serious money long before this latest bout. If the various Fraud offices don't take action after completing their investigations they'll have to make some hefty settlements to the old Autonomy board.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wow

        " If the various Fraud offices don't take action after completing their investigations they'll have to make some hefty settlements to the old Autonomy board."

        The SFO take years to bring a case. I worked for a large listed company that collapsed due to directorial fraud at the end of 2006, and it took the SFO until mid 2013 to get the case in front of the courts. Meg and her inept cronies know this, and are banking on leaving the mess for somebody else to sort out. If there's no meaningful action by state prosecutors, the settlement with Autonomy directors will (a) be peanuts for a leather-arsed dinosaur like HP, and (b) will be made long after Meg's bottom has been lifted out of the CEO's throne.

        My guess is that HP are relying on their limitless pockets being deeper than the personal pockets of Lynch and his colleagues. Moreover, I suspect HP don't care if the process goes on for another decade, and that they don't care whether they win or lose. The real purpose seems to me to distract from the culpability of the directors and managers of HP including Meg in approving the Autonomy deal, and perhaps most importantly in calling off the shareholder attack dogs, because that action is the one thing that could harm Meg and the team of bozos that rule at HP. By kicking this into the long grass Meg is confident that she won't be held to account for her part, and any outcome will be apparent long after she has retired on a big fat HP pension.

        1. Spasticus Autisticus
          Happy

          Re: Wow

          Every time I see the name Meg I can't help thinking of:

          "Meg" - "pthrurpt". "Meg, Meg, Meg" - "pthrurpt, pthrurpt, pthrurpt". "Mmmmeeeeeg" - "pthruuuuuuurpt".

          Thank you Seth McF for being funny, brilliant and sick.

        2. Gordon 10 Silver badge

          Re: Wow

          Using the same logic HP are using - they shouldn't be offering to settle with the shareholders until 1 or more of the fraud reports are in.

          However as Ledswinger notes - they are more concerned with saving the arses of the current incumbents of the C suite than actually getting to the bottom of the whole mess.

  3. Anonymous Coward 101

    I want to see the facts aired in public. Right now, Autonomy looks flakey and HP looks stupid, but either opinion could be unfair until things are sorted out in court. This is getting silly now.

    1. Tom 13

      So, we should put you down in the

      "Why can't they both lose?" column?

      Me too. And I recall a time when I respected HP.

  4. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Eejits!

    Have they never heard of 'Caveat Emptor'.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HP is a victim...

    ... of corporate incompetence, lack of direction and over inflated egos?

    I bet there are part numbers for each...

    1. ToddR

      Re: HP is a victim...

      very good sir

    2. Fatman

      Re: I bet there are part numbers for each...

      Sure are:

      FUCKED UP CEO 1

      FUCKED UP CEO 2

      FUCKED UP CEO 3

  6. alwarming

    To be fair to HP...

    ...<blank>.

    Umm, sorry, I can't think of anything to complete this statement.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HP - Taking the Sauce

    They are really desparate to get to the point where HP got it wrong in the takeover of Autonomy.

    Caveat-emptor and all that.

    They clearly didn't do their due diligence properly.

    They really should stop this witchhunt and get back to business. This is doing nothing for their business reputation.

    I'd be really careful about selling anything even bog-rolls to HP in case years later they came after me.

    Rather sad to see HP going this way especially as I'm an HP Pensioner.

  8. Diskcrash

    Due diligence is almost always a joke

    I am no longer surprised or amazed when after an acquisition is completed to hear that there are problems. Years ago I worked for a small company that made some chips and adapters who was then acquired by a larger company. After it was completed I was in a meeting where their lead product manager explained that they wanted to use one of our chips in a new product. I listened to them and then explained that our chip didn't do that, couldn't do that and would never do that. The manager said but this is the only reason we bought your company. I told him oh well but thanks for converting all my stock options to cash.

    The surest sign that a company is doomed? Being acquired by HP (where good companies go to die).

  9. Francis Fish
    Devil

    Autonomy aren't saints either

    Friend of mine got fkd over by them, greedy, happy to shaft customers. Kinda made for each other, did someone bring the popcorn?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Autonomy aren't saints either

      I think it is very likely that Autonomy had "accounting irregularities" on their books - some of the stories that have come out appear to support this.

      The challenge HP have is with the scale of the problems - if the problems resulted in a US$1-2 billion write down, I would favour HP's story.

      HP brought Autonomy for US$11.1 billion when it was valued at around US$6.2 billion (a 79% premium) had conducted due-diligence and found no major issues and then wrote it down by US$8.8 billion.

      Autonomy may not be saints, but HP look like clowns waving guns menacingly at their feet while standing beneath a huge flashing neon sign saying "Too stupid to remember your name? Become an HP board member!!!"

      1. Fatman
        Joke

        Re: Autonomy aren't saints either

        HP brought Autonomy for US$11.1 billion when it was valued at around US$6.2 billion (a 79% premium) had conducted due-diligence and found no major issues and then wrote it down by US$8.8 billion.

        So THAT'S how you increase shareholder value!!!!!!

        I honestly though it was a recipe for bankrupting a company.

  10. Old Timer

    Autonomy viewpoint here

    http://autonomyaccounts.org

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    However much Autonomy may have fiddled...

    ...there's no getting around the fact that HP wrote down more than anybody else thought Autonomy was worth in total.

    So even if you believe HP was completely bamboozled by the financial dark arts of the wizards at Autonomy, it still leaves them with a couple of billion in overpayment to account for.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Irrespective of Autonomy..

    .. HP should have done proper due diligence before buying this outfit, simply from a perspective of being responsible for what they get up to with shareholder's assets.

    However hard they screech, scream and point accusing fingers, from a shareholder perspective the fault lies with HP and remains there. That fact that this plays in the press without hard facts is IMHO not exactly enhancing my trust in HP's position.

    1. redneck

      Re: Irrespective of Autonomy..

      The fault lies with the accounting firms who vetted Autonomy. According to this:

      http://www.businessinsider.com/15-firms-advised-hp-on-it-autonomy-buy-2012-11

      there were 15 companies that said that the Autonomy deal was copacetic. If you can't trust accounting firms, then audited financial statements in an annual report are just garbage.

  13. mark 177
    FAIL

    She's Got Form.......

    Meg Whitman:

    CEO of eBay. Bought Skype for billions, sold it at a loss.

    CEO of HP. Bought Autonomy for billions, wrote value down soon after.

    Why do such serial under-performers keep getting employed?

    Enough said, methinks.

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