Now that HP's $11.1 billion purchase of Autonomy is completely blowing up in its face, it's time to look back at how it could have happened in the first place.
Wasn't anyone warning HP's board that it might be buying a lousy company? Why yes, someone was warning the board!
That someone was HP's CFO, Cathie Lesjak. According to a Fortune story from May, she blindsided CEO Leo Apotheker during a meeting with the board and said she thought HP was going to overpay for Autonomy.
"I don't think it's a good idea. I don't think we're ready. I think it's too expensive. I'm putting a line down. This is not in the best interests of the company," said Lesjak.
She didn't know about what HP now characterizes as "improprieties" in Autonomy's accounting. But, she did smell something wrong with the deal. And now she, and the rest of HP, have to deal with the fall out.
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