Former Hewlett-Packard (HP) chief executive Leo Apotheker did not read Autonomys half-year or quarterly results ahead of buying the software firm for £8.4bn in 2011, a court heard today.
Apotheker, who was giving evidence to the High Court, admitted he had not read the firms April 2011 quarterly update or Julys half-year results, but had studied the companys annual report for the year to the end of December 2010.
HP is suing Autonomys founder Mike Lynch and former chief financial officer (CFO) Sushovan Hussain for $5.1bn, alleging that they falsely inflated Autonomys revenue figures ahead of the acquisition.
Robert Miles QC, cross-examining the witness for the defence, said HP was only interested in the software firms potential synergies, not its standalone financial performance, or Apotheker had been negligent.
Miles said: “Either the results werent important to you, or the other alternative is that you were grossly negligent.”
“It is extraordinary that you were looking at buying a company for $11bn and you didnt even bother to read the most recent results,” he added.
During the heated exchange Apotheker said: “There are people inside HP who do a very good job and keep me informed. Im sure if it was something of extreme relevance I would have been told.”
The former chief executive was sacked following the deals announcement, and replaced by Meg Whitman who attempted to refocus the compRead More – Source