Breaking Legal Tech: HP Appoints New CEO

While putting the finishing touches on a post about the development challenges of legal tech, news crossed the wire that HP has appointed Meg Whitman as CEO. Ms. Whitman replaces Leo Apotheker, who has been running HP under a cloud (the bad kind, not the trendy kind) recently due to earnings shortfalls and controversial strategic moves. He was on the job only 11 months, replacing Mark Hurd, who resigned under a cloud for reasons you may be familiar with. One recent acquisition pushed by Mr. Apotheker was to acquire Autonomy, a UK software company. It's an aggressive purchase, given the steep price and the pro forma earnings contribution of Autonomy if the deal closes. One of the sectors Autonomy has real strength is in the legal realm, including records management, eDiscovery, and compliance. Whatever the problems of HP are of late, it is a massive enterprise that has existing customer relationships with a huge number of companies worldwide. This is precisely where a lot of the legal tech development and deployment will be long-term. Either by larger companies directly, or by smaller companies that are bought by or align themselves with larger companies that have sales muscle and a big customer base. But there are some pitfalls ahead, and they will be outlined in the next post on legal tech, which will be up on Monday.

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