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Autonomy Chief Preserves Own Culture Alongside HP ‘Mother Tiger’

Autonomy Corp. chief Mike Lynch said the U.K. software maker needs to preserve a “high-speed culture” following its $10.3 billion acquisition by Hewlett-Packard Co.

“Autonomy has a very different culture, a very high-speed culture,” Lynch said at the Bloomberg Enterprise Technology Summit in London today. It’s a company “that needs to be left to do that.”

Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman, who supported the Autonomy purchase, has compared the parent company to a “mother tiger” not rolling on its cub, Lynch said. She told her executives “not to smother” Autonomy, Lynch said in an interview at the same conference.

The purchase of the U.K.’s second-largest software company this year added to pressure on Hewlett-Packard’s then-CEO Leo Apotheker who had announced an overhaul on Aug. 18 that included the Autonomy deal and a possible spinoff of the personal-computer business. A month later, Apotheker was removed by Hewlett-Packard’s board and the company named former EBay Inc. CEO Whitman to succeed him.

Whitman has opted to fix Hewlett-Packard’s existing businesses, while limiting the size of further acquisitions. Lynch, who founded Autonomy in 1996, reports directly to Whitman.

Asked about Autonomy’s future within Hewlett-Packard and the prospect of selling other services, Lynch said that the company now has access to the “toy store” of HP’s hardware.

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