Get it whilst it's hot!
Autonomy's former US head of sales made a series of startling admissions in court yesterday which contradicted his witness statement, throwing a curveball into Britain's biggest fraud trial. Christopher "Stouffer" Egan's second day in the witness box was characterised by him admitting that in some instances he could not state …
I think the problem is that for a very long time, the American legal system has been stating that it is the American "justice" system.
There is a lot of evidence that this is not so but it is usually about poor people.
We are seeing the latest piece of data now because the defendant is v.v. rich - and white.
... meaning he has admitted his own wrongdoing over some of Autonomy's deals.
I don't think it necessarily means that. Rather it may merely mean he feared - rightly or wrongly - "they were out to get him".
The witness looks bad. But that may just mean the lawyer is doing his job: Qu'on me donne six lignes écrites de la main du plus honnête homme, j'y trouverai de quoi le faire pendre.
Yes of course I believe almost certainly the case is dodgy and the witness compromised by the US trial. But not so much on the strength of today's report.
Good analogy but more like, "HP buys car for $8.8Bn more than it is worth and then tries to disappear the overpayment into its accounts, gets sued by 3 shareholders and whines to the FBI and SFO about fraud until the man who sold them the car gets put on trial. HP then buys more and more cars at huge sums more than they are worth, happy in the knowledge that they can always get the FBI to prosecute".
Between the (management)Sales people and the lawyers, that room has to be full of obfuscations. I'm wondering how much work the cleaners have to do at the end of the day and what they're making off the fertilizer sales.
"Egan remains on the witness stand this afternoon for cross-examination by Hussain's barrister, Paul Casey. "
And will round two be the same as round one? In one fell swoop could HP's case fall over when one of the actual criminals admits they made up claims that others were aware of their dealings?
Still, if it's good enough for the US government, surely Egan's word will be good enough? Or does he have to wait for the HP lawyers tell him what to say before he answers that?
So much popcorn...
I was there from virtually day one in the the St James office as an HP employee after the purchase. I didn't know Mike, but had numerous meetings with his CFO, who seemed to be in a position of control that I couldn't understand as he wasn't exactly ...... competent. However, It was their departmenatl management team I talked to, and a talented bunch they were.
It was obvious from the very first hour, and everyone was open about it, that Autonomy had an incredible marketing department, a highly agressive & manipulative sales culture, a brilliant idea and then some very very very questionable SW. We in the industry knew the SW was questionable because Autonomy had aquired companies we knew and Autonomy never had the cash to build those little capabilitise out to meet the marketing hype they produced in their red, yellow & blue books of fantasy/vision.
The HP technical due dilligence team were in no doubt that this was a box of SW twigs with a great vision. I talked to them regularly and they were blocked by Autonomy and then told by HP NOT to bothetr to review it deeply. presumably because the vision was key not the SW. So, the vision was there but you needed a huge investment to make it real. We also all knew that sales was a pure survival game of the very nasty childish bullying behaviour that came out of the CFO's office. As a result you could see instantly the pipeline inflation process this caused, it wasn't hidden, the CFO was way to niave to have hidden it and far to inexperienced to have managed it properly.
So what was missing?
HP due dilligence. IBM and Oracle had turned Autonomy down for vastly less sums. But HP walks in, does zero proper due dilligence and gets taken to the cleaners.
Mike et al. did the best sales job ever for their share holders and themselves. The reason this trial exists is because the HP board cannot take another shareholder class action. This was one of the greatest corporate governance cock-ups in the IT industry since HP bought EDS, themselves the worst managed IT services company in the world ....... is their a pattern here? Have you seen the EDS write down?
The HP board are trying to escape their cupability. It's true Autonomy inflated themselves .... but that is what due dilligence is for to understand this and why neither Oracle or IBM fell for it.
The brave thing would have been to manage the over payment, get the Autonomy marketing hype and make it real. But that is now Microfocus's job. HP's job is to protect some vastly over renumerated board members who spectacularly failed to do their jobs.