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Autonomy’s ex-audit chair has more problems

Nov 21, 2012

FORTUNE -- Jonathan Bloomer probably thought he hit professional rock bottom last Wednesday.

His six-year-old insurance venture Lucida PLC announced that it would no longer write new business, entering a run-off process after original owner Cerberus Capital Management proved unable to find a buyer or co-investors. Bloomer also resigned as CEO, but said that he would stick around as a non-executive director.

Today, however, Bloomer is facing a whole new different set of headaches.

While running Lucida, Bloomer also sat on a number of outside boards. Among them was British software company Autonomy, which later was acquired in late 2011 for around $11 billion by Hewlett-Packard (hpq). Moreover, he was chairman of Autonomy's audit committee.

The reason that history now matters is because HP yesterday accused Autonomy of cooking the books prior to its acquisition, and that it would be taking a related $8.8 billion write-down. HP didn't specifically identify the executives it believes to have been responsible, but did say that it planned to pursue civil changes. If Bloomer didn't have counsel 48 hours ago, he probably does now.

It's also worth noting that Bloomer -- the former CEO of Prudential PLC -- actually became a partner with Cerberus prior to forming Lucida, and that he lists it as an active employer on his LinkedIn profile. Bloomer is not, however, listed on the Cerberus website, nor could an outside spokesman confirm whether or not he was still with the firm. I called up Cerberus in London, and was passed around a bit before finally being given a mobile number (seems he doesn't have an in-house extension). Left a  message, and will update this post if he responds.

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