Kevin Warnock

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There is still time to cancel Autonomy purchase

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Autonomy should remain autonomous.

The planned purchase of Autonomy by Hewlett Packard was part of Léo Apotheker’s plans to remake HP into a company more like SAP, which Apotheker used to run. Now that he’s out of HP, why should HP close its purchase of Autonomy? What is HP going to do with Autonomy the company?

This is going to spell the end of Autonomy. It might take five years, but this purchase will mark the beginning of the end. I say this not even knowing much about what Autonomy makes — but it doesn’t really matter what they make. These huge software deals are fraught with risk and trouble, and now that the guy that wanted Autonomy is unemployed, what’s the point?

Sure there might be a huge breakup fee to be paid to back out of buying Autonomy. But I’m sure the fee is less than USD $10B+, the reported cash purchase price of Autonomy.

Here’s an article in the Wall Street Journal detailing some of the silliness around this deal.

Ellison Stirs the Pot Over H-P Deal

Written by Kevin Warnock

September 29th, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Posted in Opinion

Tagged with , , ,

I watched Meg Whitman eat dinner a few years back. She slouches and doesn’t hold her fork properly.

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There are rumors circulating this morning that Meg Whitman will be appointed the Chief Executive of Hewlett Packard later today.

This appointment I predict will not work out for HP, and Whitman will eventually be fired. Whitman will make a fortune that I predict she will not deserve.

I have met Whitman. I shook her hand at one of her houses without knowing who she was. I ate dinner at this house, and my table was next to her table. Even though I didn’t know who she was, I noticed her and remembered her when I found out who she was about two hours later.

I noticed and remembered her because she displayed atrocious table manners. She was hunched over her plate, not sitting up straight. She grasped her fork in her fist, with all five fingers encircling the handle of the fork.

This dinner I was at was well attended, with over 100 guests. The house I understand was Whitman’s house for entertaining, not the house she resides in. Yes, the huge house in the pricey town of Atherton, California USA, similar in size to Ron Conway’s old Atherton house dating to the original dot com boom, was just for throwing parties. That probably explains why the building didn’t look lived in — everything, especially the huge kitchen, was too clean and perfect.

I’ve been to a lot of fancy sit down dinners, and Whitman displayed the worst table manners I have yet witnessed.

I mentioned to my date for the event that the woman who shook hands with us as we departed looked a lot like Meg Whitman of EBay. After some talk, we concluded that it was in fact Whitman, though neither of us knew it when we were in her presence.

It was noteworthy that as we shook Whitman’s hand, she said something to the effect of ‘it was nice talking with your earlier.’ This was interesting because we had not spoken with her earlier.

I hope Whitman took a class in table manners before she ran for and did not win the governorship of California.

Whitman demonstrated the table manners of a poorly raised grade school student. I was shocked and I remain shocked.

Normally I would not write about the table manners of anyone. But Whitman is in line to lead one of the most important companies in the world. She’s certainly a public figure, and how she comports herself in public is news.

Written by Kevin Warnock

September 22nd, 2011 at 11:55 am