HP has made a heavyweight hire to rebuild confidence at Autonomy, the web technology business based in Cambridge UK.HP has taken on Microsoft Corporation’s North American president Robert Youngjohns to take over leadership of Autonomy’s software division after the May departure of Mike Lynch.
Lynch left after becoming a scapegoat for what the US giant described as disappointing sales – following HP’s £10bn-plus acquisition of the Cambridge business last autumn.
Youngjohns takes the reins on September 17 and has a major revival job on his hands. HP CEO Meg Whitman recently told analysts that Autonomy “still requires a great deal of attention.”
Lynch followed the senior management team at Autonomy Cambridge out of the door; they walked complaining of ridiculous levels of bureacracy at HP. They claimed 65 people were involved in one teleconferencing call.
Youngjohns will serve as senior vice-president and general manager of the Autonomy information management business unit and report to George Kadifa, executive vice-president of HP Software. Youngjohns has served as president of Microsoft's North America region and also worked at Callidus Software, Sun Microsystems and IBM.
As well as growing Autonomy’s meaning-based software business he has to help HP integrate Autonomy into the main software division, HP added.
HP is under siege from competitors in its server and PC businesses and views enterprise software as a lifeline.
Youngjohns is a physics graduate from Oxford and needs to discover the right alchemy to repair morale and the bottom line at Autonomy. He also worked at GCHQ, the UK government’s communications mother ship.
As Business Weekly revealed before HP began the search for Lynch’s full-time replacement in June, the American company sent its big guns to Cambridge to assure staff that their jobs were safe and the future bright.
It also took the decision to hold onto Aurasma, Autonomy’s augmented reality business, which formed part of last year’s takeover deal.
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Autonomy building at Cambridge Business Park. Photo by Cmglee