hp ray lane

Hewlett-Packard chairman Ray Lane will soon leave his post after shareholders lost confidence in him, the Wall Street Journal reports.

HP has struggled in the past few years, especially in light of its botched acquisition of enterprise software firm Autonomy. HP paid $11.1 billion for Autonomy in August 2011 but later decided to write off $8.8 billion of the deal in November following disappointing earnings. HP said it was misled about the state of Autonomy’s finances.

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Lane’s stepping down makes sense because he was leading the board when the Autonomy deal was approved. Shareholder confidence in him had reportedly declined significantly in recent months.

Prominent shareholder activist Ralph Whitworth will lead the board temporarily until HP finds a new chairman.

“[Lane] believes there has been a lot of distraction in the past few months,” Whitworth told the Wall Street Journal. “He wants the company to be able to move forward without that distraction.”

Lane was previously the president of Oracle and remains a managing partner at hotshot VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Ray Lane photo via HP