$9bn Autonomy scam at Hewlett-Packard


Whitman said her predecessor, Leo Apotheker and the former chief strategy officer, Shane Robison, were the key people behind the Autonomy acquisition.

Apotheker bought Autonomy to diversify HP's business and beef up its portfolio to provide one-stop shopping for corporations. The $11 billion acquisition of Autonomy - heavily criticized by investors as too costly - was a key part of the plan to transform HP.

Apotheker was ousted as CEO in September 2011 after just 11 months on the job and Robison left soon after.

In a statement, Apotheker said he was "stunned and disappointed" by the revelations and offered to make himself available to HP and the authorities to get to the bottom of the matter.

Whitman on Tuesday stood by Autonomy's technology and products despite the allegations, saying it will be the growth engine for HP. The former California gubernatorial candidate has been trying to move beyond some of HP's past controversies, which includes the ouster of the past two CEOs, a haphazard product strategy and a plan to sell its PC unit that was later dropped.

HP has been running Autonomy since the acquisition closed in October 2011, but it didn't find the accounting problems on its own. The company investigated only after a senior Autonomy executive came forward to detail the financial metrics surrounding Autonomy.

Advisers working on behalf of Autonomy included Qatalyst Partners, the investment bank run by technology investment banker Frank Quattrone; UBS; Goldman Sachs; Citigroup; JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America. Perella Weinberg Partners and Barclays Capital advised for HP.

Law firms for Autonomy were Slaughter & May and Morgan Lewis. The firms for HP included Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Drinker Biddle & Reath; and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Robert Enderle, a tech analyst at the Enderle Group, said he has never seen such a potential misrepresentation of financials.

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