HP names Microsoft exec as head of Autonomy software division

Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman recently alluded to some ongoing difficulties within Autonomy

Hewlett-Packard has found new leadership for its Autonomy information management software division in the form of Microsoft executive Robert Youngjohns, HP announced Friday.

Former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch left the company in May.

As of Sept. 17, 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, according to a statement. Youngjohns has served as president of Microsoft's North America region, and has also worked at Callidus Software, Sun Microsystems and IBM.

Along with growing Autonomy's business, Youngjohns is tasked with helping HP integrate Autonomy into the main software division, HP added.

HP, beset by tough competition in its server and PC businesses, is looking to enterprise software with its high-profit margins and steady maintenance revenue as a way to boost the balance sheet.

It bought Autonomy last year under the leadership of former CEO Leo Apotheker, an ex-SAP CEO who was ousted from HP after a brief and tumultuous run. The more than US$10 billion price HP paid for Autonomy has been widely criticized as far too steep.

In addition, it's not clear how well the Autonomy business is clicking post-merger. During HP's recent earnings call, CEO Meg Whitman told analysts that Autonomy "still requires a great deal of attention."

To help improve the Autonomy business, HP has implemented a global dashboard for tracking pending sales, as well as a single sales methodology and measures to boost customer satisfaction after the sale, Whitman added. With the appointment of Youngjohns, HP can add a seasoned software executive to that list.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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