East Anglia: Dr Mike Lynch to leave Autonomy as Hewlett-Packard axes 27,000 jobs

SUFFOLK entrepreneur Mike Lynch is to part company with Autonomy, the software company he sold last year to technology giant Hewlett-Packard in a deal valued at �7.1billion.

News of his departure came as Hewlett-Packard (H-P), which is based in Palo Alto, California, announced plans to axe 27,000 jobs worldwide, including cuts in its UK operations.

The US technology company plans to make the cuts, which amount to 8% of its global workforce of almost 350,000 people, as it struggles for sales in a marketplace increasingly dominated by smartphones and tablet computers.

H-P said the job cuts, along with other measures, should save it �2.2bn which it would invest in growth areas like “cloud” storage technology - an area in which Cambridge-based Autonomy is a leading player.

A spokeswoman said: “We do expect the workforce reduction to impact just about every business and region.”

Dr Lynch, who lives in Suffolk and stayed on as chief executive of Autonomy following last year’s deal, will leave after what the company called a “transition period”.

Cambridge University graduate Dr Lynch, who made �500million from the sale of the company he founded in 1996, is being replaced by Bill Veghte, H-P’s chief strategy officer, in a move described by the group as being “to help improve Autonomy’s performance”.

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H-P says it hopes to reduce the number of redundancies by offering an early retirement programme. Workforce reduction plans will vary by country, based on local legal requirements and consultation with works councils and employee representatives.

Thegroup’s chief executive Meg Whitman, also a former chief executive of eBay, said the cuts were needed to ensure HP’s long-term health.

“While some of these actions are difficult because they involve the loss of jobs, they are necessary to improve execution and to fund the long term health of the company,” she said.

“We are setting HP on a path to extend our global leadership and deliver the greatest value to customers and shareholders.”