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By | Paul Kunert 15th January 2013 15:02

HP dangles axe over Autonomy salesmen, cash wad over coders

70 layoffs planned in push for mobe video software

HP plans to lay off sales staff at Brit software subsidiary Autonomy while seeking to shore up the small biz's R&D.

An internal memo penned by Robert Youngjohns, an exec hired from Microsoft last September, started with the good news first and claimed the tech titan is pumping more cash into software development overall.

"As part of this, we are continuing to invest in our R&D capabilities around the world; in fact, we expect to hire at least 50 additional engineers for Autonomy in the near-term to lead new initiatives and technical prowess," he stated in his missive, leaked to AllThingsD.

The plan is also to tether HP's Aurasma 2.0 - Autonomy's image recognition and video overlay software - to other Hewlett-Packard tech including gear built by the Printing and Personal Systems (PPS) biz.

Youngjohns said Aurasma, which is aimed at smartphones, is "key to PPS's strategic intent to link print back to the internet making it an equal mobile, social, and cloud citizen with digital display technologies".

He said "this transition" warrants changes to the Aurasma business and "while a number of roles will remain largely unaffected by this, other roles within Aurasma will no longer be required going forward and some workforce reduction is likely".

It is believed that about 70 redundancies are planned and the axe will fall largely on the sales floor.

"We will be working with affected employees to redeploy as many as possible into other job opportunities across our business where skills sets and interests align with our business priorities," said Youngjohns.

HP paid more than $10bn for biz-ware builder Autonomy in the summer of 2011, but fell out with founder and former CEO Mike Lynch last summer.

Execs then alleged in public late last year they had found accounting irregularities in Autonomy that had inflated the company's price tag.

The US Department of Justice and the UK's Serious Fraud Office are looking into HP's claims, which have been denied by Autonomy co-founder Lynch. ®

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