Former HP CEO Apotheker Says Autonomy Diligence Was Meticulous

Photograph by Ryan Anson/Bloomberg

Leo Apotheker, the former HP CEO who oversaw the Autonomy acquisition, says due diligence was thorough.

Leo Apotheker, who was chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard when it agreed to buy Autonomy, said due diligence around the deal was “meticulous and thorough” and that he was “stunned” by allegations that the company misrepresented its results.

“The due diligence process was meticulous and thorough, and included two of the world’s largest and most respected auditing firms working on behalf of HP,” Apotheker said today in an e-mailed statement. “According to HP, the accounting issues it discovered pre-date its acquisition of Autonomy. As such, it’s apparent that Autonomy’s alleged accounting misrepresentations misled a number of people over time — not just HP’s leadership team, auditors and directors.”

He said that the alleged improprieties came to light “well after” his departure from Hewlett-Packard.

Here is the statement in full:

I’m both stunned and disappointed to learn of Autonomy’s alleged accounting improprieties. The developments are a shock to the many who believed in the company, myself included. But I also share the sentiment of HP’s current leadership and continue to believe in Autonomy’s market potential, as its core software expertise remains sound.

Looking back on the acquisition, which closed in Sept. 2011, the due diligence process was meticulous and thorough, and included two of the world’s largest and most respected auditing firms working on behalf of HP. Since Autonomy was a public company in the UK, much of the process relied on public financial reports — accounting statements approved, filed and backed by Autonomy’s leadership, board and auditors.

According to HP, the accounting issues it discovered pre-date its acquisition of Autonomy. As such, it’s apparent that Autonomy’s alleged accounting misrepresentations misled a number of people over time – not just HP’s leadership team, auditors and directors. In fact, the alleged improprieties apparently came to light only after an internal whistleblower raised the issue in the spring, well after my departure.

I will make myself available, however I can, to assist HP and the appropriate authorities get to the bottom of this.

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