HP chairman, Ray Lane, steps down amid discontent over Autonomy

Lane is giving up his chairmanship, and two other HP board members have resigned

Hewlett-Packard's Ray Lane is giving up his role as chairman amid ongoing shareholder disapproval of HP's troubled Autonomy acquisition.

Lane will stay on HP's board as a director but has given up his position as chairman, HP said. In addition, two of HP's longest-serving board members have resigned their seats altogether.

The news comes after some of HP's largest shareholders tried to have Lane and other HP directors voted off the board at a meeting last month.

HP's board has been under fire for its role in approving HP's acquisition of Autonomy for about US$10.3 billion in 2011. HP subsequently took a massive charge for the acquisition because, it says, Autonomy's business wasn't as healthy as it thought.

HP director Ralph Whitworth will take over as chairman while the company finds a permanent replacement for Lane, HP said.

The board members who have resigned are John Hammergren and G. Kennedy Thompson. They were reelected to the board last month but, like Lane, received low approval ratings.

Lane is a former president of Oracle and was made chairman of HP in November 2010.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

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