HP's Whitman: "we're committed to Autonomy"

CEO Meg Whitman stresses Autonomy is vital to HP's future

Nicole Kobie
4 Dec 2012

HP's CEO Meg Whitman has stressed her firm is "committed" to Autonomy's technology and employees, despite accusations of financial irregularities when the British software firm was bought last year.

In the opening keynote for HP's Discover customer and partner conference, Whitman directly addressed the issues at the software firm, which has led HP to threaten law suits and call in UK and US investigators.

"We remain 100% committed to Autonomy's industry-leading tech and its employees," she said in the keynote.

Autonomy's technology "will play a very significant role in our growth strategy going forward," she said, adding she was "excited about products in the pipeline".

Whitman provoked laughter by suggesting HP had been through "a quiet year", but added more seriously that the firm had faced "a lot of challenges".

"In the past 18 months, I've come to love this company," she added, thanking customers for "sticking by" HP.

"You want us to win," she said, addressing customers in the audience. "You all have made investments in HP technology over many years... you want us to continue to bring you solutions that solve problems and win in the marketplace."

Stable finances?

Whitman denied that innovation was "dead" at HP, but said the company needed to do a better job of making money out of such work. "Innovation is alive and well at HP," she added.

She said HP remained "number one or number two in virtually ever market in which we compete... and we leverage our scale in R&D and supply chain to bring you the best product at the best price".

Despite its troubles, HP is a "well known and trusted brand" and has a "solid financial foundation" - an assertion that may come as a surprise to anyone reading its last round of results.

Last month, HP posted a $6.85bn loss - hit by the $8.8bn Autonomy writedown, but net revenue had also fallen to $30bn from $32bn a year earlier, with sales at its PC division down 14%. Whitman pointed out that the company wasn't as troubled as the results suggest, saying cash flow was steady and HP was reducing its debt.

"It's worth noting HP is a $120bn in revenues firm, and the tenth largest company in America, and we're quite profitable," she said.

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