HP Chairman Steps Down in the Wake of Autonomy Acquisition Fiasco
April 5, 2013 8:50 AM
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Ex-chairman will remain a HP director
HP has announced that its chairman, Ray Lane, has stepped down from his post. Lane has been under fire from shareholders due to his role in the acquisition of software company Autonomy.
"After reflecting on the stockholder vote last month, I've decided to step down as executive chairman to reduce any distraction from HP's ongoing turnaround," Lane said in statement. "Since I joined HP's board a little over two years ago, I've been committed to board evolution to ensure our turnaround and future success."
HP posted horrific financial results in November of 2012 to the tune of an
$8.8 billion loss
. HP blamed the massive loss on what it called improprieties discovered after its acquisition of the software company Autonomy. Not long after HP claimed accounting improprieties led it to overpay for Autonomy, an ex owner of the company stepped forward and
blasted HP over its accusations
HP maintained that Autonomy "invented" nearly $200 million in bogus revenue over two years. HP maintained that this increased “revenue” led it to overpay significantly in its purchase of the company.
Along with Lane resigning from the HP board, two other directors also left HP. Interim chairman will be HP director and investor Ralph Whitworth. Whitworth will continue acting as chairman of HP's board until a permanent replacement can be found.
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RE: How is HP so stupid these days?
4/6/2013 4:36:15 PM
You can thank Carly Fiorina for that. Shortly after becoming HP's CEO in 1999, she decided HP should challenge Dell for the title of biggest consumer computer vendor in the world. She set about doing it by gutting anything low volume (e.g. their high-end calculators and testing equipment) or high cost (e.g. their R&D department), and concentrating solely on high-volume computer sales.
Well, she got her wish. Unfortunately she never seemed to understand that the high-volume stuff also has the lowest margins. And by the time she left the damage was done. HP is now pretty much stuck in the role of low-end high-volume computer sales whether they want it or not. As the Russians were fond of saying soon after Communism fell, it's easy to turn an aquarium into a fish market, but it's hard to turn the fish market back into an aquarium.
The old HP had engineers and programmers who lived and breathed the tech coming up with new ways to improve it. The best ideas would percolate up through management and HP would market them as new or improved products. The HP we have now is pretty much a bunch of MBAs who don't really understand tech trying to think of what new tech ideas will sell. And throwing a tantrum when one of their ideas (e.g. WebOS or Autonomy) doesn't pan out.
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