August 2011: Dr Mike Lynch OBE, CEO and founder, Autonomy

Business Person of the Month | Fri 2 Sep | Author – Business & Finance
Mike Lynch, Autonomy

This month’s Business Person of the Month is Dr Mike Lynch OBE, CEO and founder of Autonomy.


Hewlett-Packard has announced that it is to buy software company Autonomy for $10bn, in a deal that sees the computer giant move into cloud computing and away from PCs.

Autonomy’s CEO and founder is Irishman Dr. Mike Lynch, who has built the company to be a global tech player since 1996, and the HP deal sees it become one of the most valuable and important technology acquisitions of the year.

As well as being CEO and founder, British-based Lynch is set to make just over $766mn from the deal, but will remain part of Autonomy under its new owners.

Stellar client base

Cambridge-based and also listed on the London Stock Exchange, Autonomy develops infrastructure technology that has been used by businesses to process information and the impressive list of companies that are its clients speaks for itself: Avis, BAE Systems, BBC, BMW, Coca-Cola, CNN, Ericsson, Fiat, Financial Times, GlaxoSmithKline, Isabel Healthcare, KPMG, Linklaters, Lloyds TSB, Nasa, Nestlé, Oracle, Philips, Safeway, Schneider Electric, Shell, T-Mobile, The European Commission, The U.K. Houses of Parliament, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are just some of the companies that avail of the wide array of services on offer.

Growing success

The company started out in 1996 as a spinoff from Lynch’s first company, Cambridge Neurodynamics, after studying mathematical computing at Cambridge University. In 2006, the company reported revenues of $250mn for the year.

Autonomy floated in 1998 on the EASDAQ exchange (the European equivalent of Nasdaq) at a share price of approximately 30p. At the height of the ‘dot com bubble’, the peak share price was £30.

In December 2005 Autonomy acquired Verity, Inc., one of its main competitors, for approximately $500mn. In 2005 Autonomy also acquired Neurodynamics.


From 2007 on, Autonomy began to expand through acquisitions of other technology companies, including Blinkx Inc, Zantac, Northern Ireland based Meridio Holdings Ltd and Interwoven. During this period of phenomenal growth, the company was stewarded with Lynch at the helm, guiding it towards its eventual sale.

Dr Mike Lynch OBE studied Engineering at Cambridge University and obtained a PhD in mathematical computing. He is a technology entrepreneur and is a pioneer of the Meaning Based Computing movement. Mike has founded a number of technology companies, including Autonomy, the UK’s largest software company by market capitalization and a member of the FTSE 100. He has held a number of advisory and board roles in the venture capital industry and is currently a non-executive director of the BBC.

He was named the Confederation of British Industry’s Entrepreneur of the Year, the European Business Leaders Awards’ Innovator of the Year for pioneering new approaches to search and information processing technology, and Management Today’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2009. Mike won an IEE Award for Outstanding Achievement and was awarded an OBE for Services to Enterprise.

He is also a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Lady Margaret Beaufort Fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge, and the author of a number of academic papers on the subject of Pattern Recognition and Signal Processing.

CV highlights

  • HP to buy Autonomy for $10bn, with an offer of £25.50 ($42.11) per share in cash.
  • Lynch set to still run operations at groundbreaking software company.

Merc logoBusiness & Finance, Business Person of the Month

Business & Finance, in association with MERC Partners, has been awarding excellence in business through the ‘Business Person of the Month’ award over the last number of years. These awards seek to recognise noteworthy achievements in business leadership, and particularly those that make a telling contribution to the wider business community in Ireland.