HP and their Autonomy issue

It never rains but only pours. Meg Whitman, current CEO of HP must wonder where a bit of good fortune comes from. HP is at the moment a business under immense pressure from both competitors and shareholders. HP is one of the few PC based businesses that need a winning part of their company.

When then HP CEO Leo Apotheker (who since has moved on after being shown the door by the HP board) acquired Autonomy, he made it pretty clear that HP is in trouble. Their core business, computing (desktop PC and Printers) was put on the market and they looked aggressively for a potential buyer. Needless to say that no one took it further than that. HP has since open sourced WebOS the operating system they got when they acquired Palm. The acquisition of Autonomy was to shift the business to being software focused. Well, in the end it went nowhere.

HP have a problem and the issue is tablet computing. Did any computer business 5 years ago consider the impact of this thing called iPad?  The tablet is without a doubt a disruptive business that is torpedoing all of Apple’s rivals. Even the oldest Apple competitor, Microsoft entered the race in the tablet war.

The above should make any CEO concerned. It seems HP is taking legal steps against Autonomy for misrepresentation of financial information. The acquisition was overpriced but the latest news adds another twist to this saga. This story is going to be a fascinating one to follow. The future of HP, well is another story..

Meg (Whitman), some advice – “Palm is in your stable, use it”. Focus on your users like a certain Cupertino company and make products that are useful.



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