In a statement, Apotheker said he was "stunned and disappointed" by the revelations and offered to make himself available to HP and the authorities to get to the bottom of the matter.
Whitman on Tuesday stood by Autonomy's technology and products despite the allegations, saying it will be the growth engine for HP. The former California gubernatorial candidate has been trying to move beyond some of HP's past controversies, which includes the ouster of the past two CEOs, a haphazard product strategy and a plan to sell its PC unit that was later dropped.
HP has been running Autonomy since the acquisition closed in October 2011, but it didn't find the accounting problems on its own. The company investigated only after a senior Autonomy executive came forward to detail the financial metrics surrounding Autonomy.
Advisers working on behalf of Autonomy included Qatalyst Partners, the investment bank run by technology investment banker Frank Quattrone; UBS; Goldman Sachs; Citigroup; JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America. Perella Weinberg Partners and Barclays Capital advised for HP.
Law firms for Autonomy were Slaughter & May and Morgan Lewis. The firms for HP included Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Drinker Biddle & Reath; and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
Robert Enderle, a tech analyst at the Enderle Group, said he has never seen such a potential misrepresentation of financials.
"You have to rely on what the firm gives you during due diligence and I've never seen a misstatement at this level," Enderle said.
If the charges are true, it could result in a massive punitive damages award for HP, Enderle said.
Other analysts hoped it was the end of the bad news for HP.
"This kind of feels like the last of the bad news," Forrester analyst Frank Gillett said.
The Autonomy allegations and announcement of the charge coincided with the reporting of a fiscal fourth-quarter loss for HP.
HP said net revenue fell 6.7 percent to $29.96 billion for the quarter, ended October 31, from $32.12 billion a year earlier. Analysts, on average, expected $30.43 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue from all of its main business units declined, with the