Autonomy founder goes on offensive
Nov 24, 2012 (Daily Mail - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
MIKE Lynch says he would like to buy back Autonomy, the tech company he founded, if current owners Hewlett-Packard were willing to sell.
"There is a certain appeal to that idea, in that I love the technology," the former Cambridge University scientist says.
In his first major interview since being accused of accounting wrongdoing, Lynch hit back at his accuser Meg Whitman, the boss of Hewlett-Packard.
He accused HP of having a "long history of internecine warfare" and claimed Autonomy had been caught in the middle.
At the time of the purchase, Autonomy was to be the leader in HP Software.
Then in one of HP's "frequent coup d'etats, that management team were booted out and Autonomy was an expensive irrelevancy."
The new Whitman-led management insisted on a move to California and the result was "a lot of talent walked out of the door, which in the software business is very bad," Lynch said.
Lynch, who collected an estimated pounds sterling 500m from the Autonomy sale, is insistent that the accounting practices at his former firm are robust.
"Unlike most London companies it actually used to get audited. It was a very substantial audit in that we would give literally every invoice to the auditors. So it was not one of those things where we bundle it up. The auditors saw everything, including the invoices that H-P are talking about."
Lynch believes that Deloitte have offered "an unprecedented statement saying that Autonomy's books were fine."
Normally "the auditors crawl under a rock and you can't get them to issue a statement."
He claims that HP's accusations centre on whether $100m of revenue "should be classified in one line or another. But that doesn't affect the revenue or the bottom line."
The idea that this relatively modest sum could change the value of the company by $5bn he believes is doubtful. "There's a lot of questions to answer around that."
He quotes a Yale professor as saying that the scale of the write-off cannot be justified on that basis. Lynch admits that the experience of the last week come as a "major shock."
He adds: "there is nothing wrong with the accounting of the company. It is a process first of getting back to natural justice."
He said he had been given no early warning by HP of what was coming and so far has had no contact from the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US or Britain's Serious Fraud Office that have been sent the allegations.
___ (c)2012 Daily Mail (London, ) Visit the Daily Mail (London, ) at
www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html Distributed by MCT Information Services
[ Back To HTML5's Homepage ]