HP Hires Microsoft Exec Youngjohns To Lead Autonomy Business


Hewlett-Packard has hired Microsoft executive Robert Youngjohns and handed him the tough task of leading its troubled Autonomy business.

Effective Sept. 17, Youngjohns will join HP as senior vice president and general manager of the vendor's Autonomy and Information Management business unit, reporting to HP Software chief George Kadifa, who joined the company in May.

Youngjohns will be tasked with extracting value from HP's $10.3 billion acquisition of U.K.-based Autonomy, which was the centerpiece of ex-HP CEO Leo Apotheker's bid to remake the company into an enterprise software powerhouse.

[Related: HP Says It's Working To Bring Autonomy Products To Channel]

He fills a post that has been vacant since May, when HP fired Autonomy co-founder and CEO Mike Lynch after second-quarter license revenue results that CEO Meg Whitman described as "disappointing."

Although HP assigned a channel chief for Autonomy in July, the company is still not selling Autonomy products through the channel. In the meantime, HP partners are getting restless, fielding customer inquiries but lacking the enablement from HP to turn them into business.

Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL), a search and data processing technology that is built into many Autonomy products and available as a standalone server, is regarded as the most valuable asset HP gained from its acquisition. IDOL manages so-called unstructured data, such as that found in emails, voice, video and social media posts, the volume of which is growing quickly in businesses.

Youngjohns joined Microsoft in 2007 and was president of the software giant's North America business prior to being hired by HP. He previously spent 10 years at Sun Microsystems and 17 years at IBM. He holds an M.A. in physics and philosophy from the University of Oxford.

PUBLISHED SEPT. 7, 2012