HP-Autonomy fraud allegations fallout: The winners and losers

The repercussions could be widespread and varied

By , IDG News Service |  IT Management, Autonomy, HP

Autonomy's competitors: The bad publicity around Autonomy may lead potential customers to seek less turbulent waters. "There have already been quite a few sharks feasting around the Autonomy whale," said analyst Tony Byrne, president of the Real Story Group. These competitors include OpenText, Microsoft, IBM, and in the area of search technology, the open source ecosystem supporting the Lucene search engine, Byrne said.

The Losers:

HP Shareholders: HP's stock fell more than 10% on Tuesday after the announcement, dropping to less than $12. It had traded close to $30 as recently as February.

Leo Apotheker: If ex-HP CEO Leo Apotheker decides to seek shelter in an undisclosed location, you could hardly blame him. A former CEO of SAP, Apotheker was seen as a surprise pick to lead HP from the start, and after a series of miscalculations his reign ended quickly.

Although reports later surfaced of extreme dysfunction among HP's board during Apotheker's time at the helm, he has seemed to garner an ample share of blame and criticism.

The Autonomy acquisition was supposed to be a signature accomplishment for Apotheker, helping HP become a significant player in the lucrative enterprise software market. Instead, more than a year after his departure from HP, Apotheker finds himself amid a slew of controversy over the deal.

In a statement Tuesday, he said he was "both stunned and disappointed" to learn of Autonomy's alleged wrongdoing, and will make himself available to help HP and authorities complete their investigations.

Mike Lynch: HP has said it will pursue legal actions against "certain parties," one of whom may end up being Autonomy founder Lynch. For his part, Lynch told a BBC reporter on Tuesday that he and his former team at Autonomy totally rejected the allegations and that they were totally untrue. HP's claims are even harder to believe given how long officials spent mulling Autonomy's finances before the takeover, Lynch said.

The Autonomy nameand products: Autonomy makes infrastructure software in areas such as data management, search and archiving. Coupled with HP servers and services, the goal was to create a powerhouse business unit.

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