Former Hewlett Packard boss denies trying to avert blame for the disastrous takeover of Autonomy
Former HP boss Meg Whitman was accused of trying to blame the bosses of software firm Autonomy when the acquisition went wrong
Former Hewlett Packard boss Meg Whitman denied trying to throw British entrepreneur Mike Lynch ‘under the bus’ over the disastrous takeover of Autonomy, the High Court heard yesterday.
The renowned Silicon Valley executive, worth £2.9billion according to Forbes, was accused of trying to blame the bosses of software firm Autonomy when the acquisition went wrong.
Autonomy had been one of the UK’s most feted technology firms before it was sold to HP for £8.7billion in 2011, in a deal masterminded by Lynch and ex-HP boss Leo Apotheker.
But under Whitman, who succeeded Apotheker and oversaw the integration, HP wrote off most of Autonomy’s value and has accused Lynch and others of cooking the books to make it look more profitable than it was.
The £3.8billion civil fraud trial has heard that Lynch denies the accusation, and claims he has been made a scapegoat, blaming the write-down on a failure by HP bosses – including Whitman – to merge the companies properly.
Yesterday his lawyer showed Whitman, 62, an email she sent in 2012 after Apotheker blamed the HP board for letting him go ahead with the takeover.
‘Happy to throw Leo under the bus in a tit-for-tat’, the email read.
Responding to a claim that she also tried to throw Lynch under the bus, she said: ‘That’s absolutely not the case.’
Whitman said Lynch’s suggestion he is being made a scapegoat ‘defies logic’.