HP – Apotheker’s Appalling Legacy Continues..

Leo Apotheker is starting to look like one of the most disaster-prone CEOs in recent Silicon Valley history, after his brief but shambolic tenure at HP..

Now, another of his overpriced and ill-judged ventures – the acquisition of UK-based Autonomy – has taken an ugly turn, with the revelation that the deal may have been tainted by gross financial misrepresentation:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/electronics/9690537/HP-accuses-Autonomy-of-accounting-improprieties.html

Of course, Apotheker has now claimed that he was completely unaware of any of this, at the time:
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/11/20/leo-apotheker-due-diligence-of-autonomy-was-meticulous/

It would appear that – accusations of potentially illegal behaviour aside – the ‘due diligence’ may not have been sufficiently thorough, and may have been prejudiced by a strong desire to ‘see the deal through’ despite any misgivings..   After all, the price HP paid was thought at the time to be ludicrously high..

After all, lest we forget, this is the same CEO who killed off HP’s promising foray into the growing Tablet market – the HP TouchPad – two months after the product had been launched, and after significant investments had already been made, and the company was forced to sell them off at humiliatingly bargain-basement prices..
And, this is the CEO who summarily announced that HP was quitting the PC business, and then later retracted his statement, by which time the damage had already been done…

In the interests of full disclosure, I should mention that I worked for HP for over 18 years – in the UK and California, before being laid off as a consequence of the ‘merger’ with Compaq..

© Robert Gadsdon, 2012

 


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