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HP Shuffles Autonomy Leadership, Departed Execs Cite Stifling Bureaucracy

HP removes departed Autonomy president and C-level execs from company management masthead, says future decisions will be handled by HP Software Chief Bill Veghte.

Hewlett Packard has shuffled its executive leadership team for Autonomy in what amounts to a confirmation that the company's president and C-level executive team have departed.

Stouffer Egan, CEO of Autonomy's U.S. business, is now listed at the top of HP's Autonomy management team Web page, followed by Joel Scott, COO Of Autonomy's U.S. business; Donald Avant, head of operations; Eloy Avila, who is listed as CTO; and Ian Black, head of global operations.

Autonomy President Sushovan Hussain, CTO Peter Menell, CMO Nicole Eagan, and COO Andy Kanter, who have all reportedly quit since HP closed its acquisition of Autonomy, are no longer listed on the Web site.

[Related: Report: HP WebOS Enyo Developers Jump Ship To Google ]

Will they be replaced? An HP spokesperson contacted by CRN Tuesday declined to comment. The spokesperson also declined to comment on the role that Egan -- who is now apparently second-in-command at Autonomy -- will play.

Prior to joining Autonomy in 2001, Egan was vice president of corporate development at Dataware Technologies, an enterprise software vendor that in 1999 changed its name to LeadingSide and made the transition to solution provider.

Bill Veghte, chief strategy officer and newly appointed head of the Autonomy business, is the right leader to take Autonomy to the next level, according to the HP spokesperson.

"Veghte is an experienced software leader who will help develop the right processes and discipline to scale Autonomy and fulfill its promise," the spokesperson said in an email. "[Veghte], in partnership with the Autonomy leadership team, is ensuring key roles are filled to ensure the ongoing operations of the business."

Veghte takes over for Autonomy co-founder Mike Lynch, who is out after turning in what CEO Meg Whitman described as "very disappointing" license revenue results during HP's fiscal second quarter.

All told, roughly 250 Autonomy employees have quit, according to published reports. Yet in an email to employees last week, Whitman told the remaining Autonomy staff that they have a "very bright future" at HP, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, Lynch told a U.K. newspaper over the weekend that Whitman's decision not to sell or spin off HP's PC business altered the company's previously laid plans for Autonomy.

"Once it became clear that the new chief executive's strategy was staying more with hardware, it meant some rethinking of the original plan, and its focus on our independence became blurred," Lynch said, as reported by The Telegraph.

NEXT: Autonomy Struggled According to Execs


In the Reuters report, an unnamed Autonomy executive said the unit struggled to handle sales leads in timely fashion. "We have had to do things the HP way and the HP way has proved to be cumbersome in getting deals done in time," the executive told Reuters.

This is precisely the scenario that Whitman wanted to avoid with Autonomy. In January, she told CRN that HP would roll out Autonomy to channel partners carefully, to avoid overwhelming them with business they might not be ready to handle.

"Autonomy is about a billion-dollar company in the scale of $129 billion HP. And what I don't want to do is flood them with leads that they can't fulfill in a very high-quality way," Whitman told CRN at the time.

Whitman, who has often referred to Autonomy as a "baby tiger" to describe its vulnerability in the vastness of HP, also spoke of the care with which HP integrated the company after the deal closed.

"It's easy for a big company to roll over a little company in an acquisition. HP is so huge that we could have overwhelmed them, so we tried to do a really smart job of setting that up," Whitman said at the time.

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