back to article Micro Focus chairman Kevin Loosemore cuts himself loose as merger with HPE Software continues to haunt biz

Kevin Loosemore will stand down as chairman of British software firm Micro Focus as the company continues to struggle with its disastrous takeover of HPE's software biz. Micro Focus shares dropped nearly 18 per cent today after the company warned (PDF) that it did not expect trading to improve until 2021. The company's …

  1. SIP My Drink

    Loose More... Get IT? Loose-More? Meh

    I love how HPE had to write down Autonomy stuff by $8.8 Billion but got paid that to flog their Software Biz... With the Autonomy stuff included...

    "We broke even lads..."

  2. Pirate Dave Silver badge

    So, eh, besides Autonomy, what "software" did HP have that was worth selling (and Autonomy's worth is highly debatable)? All I can think of is their SNMP monitoring suite ($$) and maybe the bloatware they used to shove on their printer-driver CDs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      HP Openview.

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        Yeah, that's the one. Looked at the NMM component several times over the years, but never bought it. I used to love HP TopTools for Hubs and Switches - simple, but effective for my low-requirements monitoring needs. And free too, with the Procurve switches (before they got diluted with 3Com).

    2. EnviableOne Silver badge


    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      In no particular order: Fortify SCA, FoD, and WebInspect; LoadRunner; Vertica; Sentinel;

      DigitalSafe and other archiving & compliance products; Content Manager; SecureData.

      And a bunch of other stuff. (Did the data center automation / management products come from HPES or Attachmate? I don't remember.)

      There's actually quite a lot of good tech there. Fortify SCA may be the overall best static-code analysis system out there, and Fortify On Demand (Fortify as a service) is doing well. WebInspect is a pretty good web dynamic-scanning tool, though that's an area with a lot of competition from open source. Not everyone needs a columnar RDBMS, but for use cases where it's appropriate, Vertica is a strong contender. SecureData is a format-preserving encryption product line and interest in that area is growing.

      A lot of the products are "make life easier for the guys in Operations", which isn't sexy and doesn't get a lot of press. And to be honest I have no idea how well most of them work. (I've played a bit with the SIEM products, ArcSight and Sentinel.) But it seems like an area where there's real need, and we ought to be able to sell more once we work through the sorts of things described in the announcement (and, more or less, the article).

      (JFTR, the part of MF where I do most of my work is doing just fine. But I'd like to see the company as a whole do well.)

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "a non-executive chairman"

    Hallucinating. They actually have an official title for a guy that does nothing yet gets paid for it.

    Nice job if you can get it, I guess.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Feeling unlucky

    Bad time to ask for a pay rise then?

  5. I sound like Peter Griffin!!
    Paris Hilton

    De Ja Hmmmm

    So HP bought Autonomy, decided it's actually a bit of a bad deal, and proceded to split their hand so as to be able to offload Autonomy as part of HPE Software...

    MicroFockers buys HPE Software, determines it's actually a bit of a bad deal, and has now decided to split so as to probably be able to offload HPE Software/Autonomy as part of Big Data...

    Biiiig Data! Big Bountiful Data!! Get your Big Data 'ere!!!

    *Paris, coz it seems MicroFockers need someone with some experience of seeing things comin'!

  6. OrangeDog

    Some former Autonomy assets

    The bulk of HPE Software was the bulk of Autonomy.

    The bits HP Inc took were the CMO-facing friendly frontend stuff (mostly from previous Autonomy acquisitions), which quickly had the core Autonomy software stripped back out of it.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Some former Autonomy assets

      The bulk of HPE Software was the bulk of Autonomy.

      Untrue. There were a lot of product lines in the HPES portfolio, and a lot of staff and resources are attached to non-IDOL former-HPES product lines.

  7. EnviableOne Silver badge

    Loss of Focus

    leads to becoming Micro

  8. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Things have been worse

    While the years since the HPES merger have been disappointing in terms of financial metrics, in some ways they've been pretty good to live through. Yes, we in Development have many complaints about infrastructure, processes, and so on, and the use of, and eventually migration away from, the HPE network has been a big, persistent pain in the ass. But the merger brought together a ton of really interesting people and a bunch of fun new toys.

    It's very different than the grim MERANT years under Gary Greenfield, a CEO who seemed determined to piss customers off. Things were really quite bad in the 1998-2001 period. Morale was terrible, people were leaving, customers and analysts couldn't figure out what the company was doing. MERANT was a company that charged into the room, drew both pistols, emptied them into its feet, and proudly announced it had saved the day.

    This was a poor year, but it was still a profitable one, even without taking the SUSE sale into account. (See the press release or presentation slides released today for details; they're available on the website.) EBITDA is down but EBITDA margin is up, which is encouraging. Even in a bad year Micro Focus makes money and pays dividends. And development remains strong, with new major releases coming out all the time. Obviously I'm biased, and perhaps I'm being foolishly optimistic, but I believe we'll return to the kinds of profit margins we enjoyed before the merger.

    And in the meantime, my ESPP contributions will buy a lot of shares. Historically that's worked well for me.

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