Autonomy founder 'shocked' by HP's fraud allegations
HP says it will have to take a huge $8.8 billion charge for 'serious accounting improprieties' at Autonomy. Autonomy founder Lynch fires back, saying the problems occurred after HP acquired the company last year.
AutonomyÂ founder and former CEO Mike Lynch told CNBC Tuesday that he was "shocked" by allegations of accounting fraud and blamedÂ Hewlett-Packard, which acquired his company last year, for "mismangement" that led an $8.8 billion charge and sent HP's stock reeling.
"We've been pretty ambushed by this today," Lynch said in an interview from London. â€śI think thereâ€™s been significant mismanagement of the company.â€ť
Â Lynch's comments came after HP said earlier Tuesday that it was forced to take an $8.8 billion one-time charge because of "serious accounting improprieties" at Autonomy, which HP acquired for $11.5 billion in 2011.
The news surprised investors and sent HP's stockÂ plunging $1.59, or 12 percent, in trading Tuesday.
In a separate interview with CNBC on Tuesday, HP CEO Meg Whitman, who fired Lynch shortly after the Autonomy acquisition, said the company engaged in a "willful effort to mislead" HP shareholders and management.
For his part, Lynch said the mismanagement came after HP took over the company.
The due diligenceâ€”or checking the booksâ€”on Autonomy "was what Hewlett-Packard described as meticulous," said Lynch. â€ś And then they actually ran the company, including doing all of the books, for the last four quarters.â€ť
â€śWeâ€™d be talking about a massive elephant in the room that wasnâ€™t spotted," he added. "And the reason it wasnâ€™t spotted is very simple â€” it wasnâ€™t there."