HP's board survived a mutiny in yesterday's annual shareholder meeting, with under-fire directors Ken Thompson and John Hammergreen narrowly hanging onto their posts.
The duo, alongside board chairman Ray Lane, have faced public calls for their head from large shareholder representative groups in recent weeks. The three men yesterday would have faced the chop had they failed to secure the backing of 50 per cent of shareholders.
Lane, Thompson and Hammergreen survived but received the support of just 59, 55 and 54 per cent of stakeholders respectively. Barring disaster, board members of public firms could typically expect to enjoy the backing of comfortably more than 90 per cent.
The trio at least appear to have the tacit backing of chief executive Meg Whitman, who yesterday told shareholders that "my view of the board of directors is that they are helping the company turnaround".
Meanwhile the controversy surrounding the Autonomy saga shows little sign of abating, with the software firm's voluble former boss Mike Lynch choosing yesterday to publish another open letter to HP. In it, Lynch once again calls for the US vendor to publish "details and evidence of the allegations it has made against the former management team of Autonomy to shareholders".
He also asks HP to clarify how it calculated the $8.8bn writedown it booked during its fiscal Q4 12 in relation to the Autonomy buyout. He claims that a number of accounting experts are uncertain how the vendor came up with such a large number. He also asks HP if it ever tried to rescind its $11bn offer for the software firm and, if so, whether shareholders were informed.
Lynch (pictured) goes on to state that "the former management of Autonomy began alerting Ms Whitman as early as December 2011 to significant problems with the integration of Autonomy into HP that were negatively impacting its performance".
"When did Ms Whitman acknowledge that Autonomy was not performing against expectations? Why was this not communicated to shareholders at that time?," he adds.
He finishes the letter by once again strongly refuting all allegations of impropriety or incompetence and attributes any problems suffered by Autonomy following the buyout have been as a result of HP's "mismanagement".
"We refuse to be a scapegoat for HP's own failings," he concludes.
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