Welcome!

Java Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Yakov Fain, Gil Allouche

Related Topics: Virtualization, Java, SOA & WOA, Web 2.0, HP, Cloud Expo

Virtualization: Article

[Update] HP Charges Autonomy with Massive Fraud

It claims it was the victim of accounting improprieties and disclosure failures made by the publicly held British company

HP Tuesday morning charged its Autonomy acquisition with massive fraud.

It claims it was the victim of accounting improprieties and disclosure failures made by the publicly held British company prior to its acquisition last year by HP and downright misrepresentations made to HP in connection with the ultimately $12 billion and something acquisition.

As a result HP will write off most of the inflated purchase price and take an $8.8 billion non-cash charge, worse than the $8 billion goodwill charge HP took this summer on its EDS acquisition.

HP has turned the case over to the SEC and the UK's Serious Fraud Office for civil and criminal prosecution. HP CEO Meg Whitman said the company would also press its own civil and criminal charges against certain unnamed individuals seeking redress for its benighted stockholders. She expects it all to take years.

HP said that after Autonomy founder Mike Lynch was fired earlier this year because the unit was significantly underperforming an unidentified senior member of Autonomy's staff blew the whistle on the company's inflated margins and phony growth rates, and the slight-of-hand that got it so overvalued.

A seven-month internal investigation ensued, leading HP to conclude that Autonomy was overvalued all along.

That investigation is still going on but it found that Autonomy misstated its financial performance, including its revenue, core growth rate and gross margins, and misrepresented its business mix.

Margins were inflated from 28% to 45% by passing low-end hardware sales off as IDOL software license sales; VAR license fees were paraded as revenue when no end customer existed at the time of the sale; VARs paid high up-front fees in exchange lower future fees; and revenues were pulled forward. The idea was to suggest better growth than existed.

"This appears to have been a willful effort on behalf of certain former Autonomy employees to inflate the underlying financial metrics of the company in order to mislead investors and potential buyers," HP said in a statement. "These misrepresentations and lack of disclosure severely impacted HP management's ability to fairly value Autonomy at the time of the deal."

Whitman said HP's board, which voted to make the Autonomy acquisition, "feels terribly" about all this but depended on financials audited by Deloitte and re-audited by KPMG before doing the deal. "You have to depend on audited results," she said, although neither accounting firm tumbled to what had been going on.

Apparently PricewaterhouseCoopers' forensics team finally caught it after in was brought in in May.

According to Meg, "blogs" at the time of the acquisition questioned Autonomy's revenue recognition and what it called a sale but Autonomy's management was allowed to run the reports to ground with the pair of original auditors and claimed there was nothing to them.

After listening to the HP conference call Tuesday morning Lynch "flatly rejected" HP's allegations, "which are false."

Meg blamed her predecessor Leo Apotheker and former head of R&D and strategy Shane Robison. Due diligence at HP no longer reports to M&A, as it was when Apotheker was therem but it's kind of late in the day to give it to the CFO.

Robison has yet to be heard from, but Apotheker, who orchestrated the Autonomy acquisition, issued a statement to the Wall Street Journal saying he was "stunned and disappointed" to learn of thr alleged accounting improprieties and defended HP's due diligence as "meticulous and thorough."

He pointed out that since Autonomy was a public company "much of the process relied on public financial reports - accounting statements approved, filed and backed by Autonomy's leadership, board and auditors" and offered to make himself available "to assist HP and the appropriate authorities to get to the bottom of this."

Autonomy's shenanigans account for $5.3 billion of the charge; the rest stems from HP's declining stock price, which has been in free fall since Apotheker said it was buying Autonomy and disposing of HP's PC unit in order to turn HP into a software company. The company quickly disposed on Mr. Apotheker, replacing him with Whitman, who went through with the Autonomy acquisition and decided to keep PCs. Most outsiders couldn't understand the Autonomy buy.

Although Autonomy's long-term financial performance is expected to be impacted by the mess, Whitman says the company is "100% committed to Autonomy" and expects it to play a "significant role" in HP's recovery.

The disclosure was part of Hewlett-Packard's quarterly report. It lost $6.85 billion, or $3.49 a share, compared to a profit of $239 million, or 12 cents a share, this time last year. Revenue was $29.96 billion, down 4%. Adjusted EPS was $1.16. Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of $1.14 a share, on revenue of $30.44 billion.

HP said revenue from its PC unit was down 14% since commercial revenues dropped 13% and consumer revenue plunged 16%. Revenue in the enterprise, servers, storage and networking segment dropped about 9%. Printing sales fell about 5%. Services fell about 6%. Software revenue was up 14%.

HP's battered shares were down 12.48% to $11.64 in pre-market trades on the news, dropped further as the market woke up and then recouped slightly to $11.87, down 10.68%. Its stock has lost over 48% this year and the company had $21.8 billion in long-term debt at the end of its fiscal fourth quarter

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
Predicted by Gartner to add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is based on the idea that devices, systems and services will connect in simple, transparent ways, enabling seamless interactions among devices across brands and sectors. As this vision unfolds, it is clear that no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the horizontal aspects of the IoE. The AllSeen Alliance, announced in December 2013, was formed with the goal to advance IoE adoption and innovation in the connected home, healthcare, education, aut...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems, today added 96 new products to the Spansion® FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers (MCUs). Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4F core, the new MCUs boast a 200 MHz operating frequency and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for enhanced human machine interfaces (HMIs) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The rich set of periphera...

The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation and integration; and visibility through intelligent business operations and big data.
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
Be Among the First 100 to Attend & Receive a Smart Beacon. The Physical Web is an open web project within the Chrome team at Google. Scott Jenson leads a team that is working to leverage the scalability and openness of the web to talk to smart devices. The Physical Web uses bluetooth low energy beacons to broadcast an URL wirelessly using an open protocol. Nearby devices can find all URLs in the room, rank them and let the user pick one from a list. Each device is, in effect, a gateway to a web page. This unlocks entirely new use cases so devices can offer tiny bits of information or simple i...
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, will address the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. How important are public, private, and hybrid cloud to the enterprise? How does one define Big Data? And how is the IoT tying all this together?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
TechCrunch reported that "Berlin-based relayr, maker of the WunderBar, an Internet of Things (IoT) hardware dev kit which resembles a chunky chocolate bar, has closed a $2.3 million seed round, from unnamed U.S. and Switzerland-based investors. The startup had previously raised a €250,000 friend and family round, and had been on track to close a €500,000 seed earlier this year — but received a higher funding offer from a different set of investors, which is the $2.3M round it’s reporting."
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. Over the summer Gartner released its much anticipated annual Hype Cycle report and the big news is that Internet of Things has now replaced Big Data as the most hyped technology. Indeed, we're hearing more and more about this fascinating new technological paradigm. Every other IT news item seems to be about IoT and its implications on the future of digital busines...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
The Internet of Things needs an entirely new security model, or does it? Can we save some old and tested controls for the latest emerging and different technology environments? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, will review hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal privacy options and a new risk balance you might not expect.
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, will discuss the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. The presentation will also discuss how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics to discuss are barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold.
Swiss innovators dizmo Inc. launches its ground-breaking software, which turns any digital surface into an immersive platform. The dizmo platform seamlessly connects digital and physical objects in the home and at the workplace. Dizmo breaks down traditional boundaries between device, operating systems, apps and software, transforming the way users work, play and live. It supports orchestration and collaboration in an unparalleled way enabling any data to instantaneously be accessed on any surface, anywhere and made interactive. Dizmo brings fantasies as seen in Sci-fi movies such as Iro...
There’s Big Data, then there’s really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, to discuss how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other mach...
This Internet of Nouns trend is still in the early stages and many of our already connected gadgets do provide human benefits over the typical infotainment. Internet of Things or IoT. You know, where everyday objects have software, chips, and sensors to capture data and report back. Household items like refrigerators, toilets and thermostats along with clothing, cars and soon, the entire home will be connected. Many of these devices provide actionable data - or just fun entertainment - so people can make decisions about whatever is being monitored. It can also help save lives.