Hewlett-Packard ousts CEO Carly Fiorina, and what was with that ‘Apple iPod by HP’ deal anyway?

“Carly Fiorina, one of the most powerful women in American business, was ousted as chairman and chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Co. on Wednesday after disagreements over strategy at the computer and printer maker. Analysts said Fiorina’s departure would be good for HP, and the company’s shares jumped more than 11 percent in pre-market trading,” Eric Auchard reports for Reuters.

“‘This is a good move for the company. I would say there will be a boost to employee moral because internally people had become frustrated, certainly within the printing division,’ said Shannon Cross, a Wall Street analyst with Cross Research who tracks the printing industry,” Auchard reports. “Peter Sorrentino, chief investment officer of Bartlett & Co. in Cincinnati, also expressed relief at the management change. ‘This was a move that we had long hoped they would take. We thought the stock, just from the imaging business, is worth $24 a share, and you were being impaired as a shareholder because of the other businesses,’ he said.”

Auchard reports, “Fiorina, 50, who joined HP as CEO in 1999, became the lightning rod of criticism among investors and some in the Silicon Valley establishment for pushing through a merger with rival PC maker Compaq Computer in 2002. Robert Wayman, HP’s chief financial officer, was named CEO on an interim basis and appointed to the board of directors of HP. Wayman rose through the ranks at HP after joining the company in 1969. HP said a search for a new CEO was underway.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Let’s face it, Fiorina got jobbed by Apple CEO Steve Jobs with the “Apple iPod by HP” deal. We actually felt bad for her, seeing her onstage holding up that blueish-grey iPod mockup. Steve must have had a really good laugh after he got the ink on that deal. How could Fiorina justify that deal with HP’s slogan “Invent” plastered everywhere? It was totally ridiculous. Why not just come right out and say, “Oh, ‘Invent’ is only a marketing slogan, we don’t really invent anything anymore, silly!” Fiorina always seemed to be in over her head and HP will probably be better off now.


  1. that’s a bit harsh take on it MDN…Fiorina has done an admirable job managing HP. As a big company that is very high profile, you’re going to attract a lot of attention to the company, it’s results and it’s “moves” in the market. Being one of the highest profile companies run by a female doesn’t help either.

    The iPod deal actually makes sense as long as Apple allows HP to invent and inovate new uses for the product. Their skins were an okay idea…but I think they could be in a better position to score more deals like the “duke university” thing..but the ipod deal with Apple was more to be in the ‘game” than to worry about creating a market for themselves which they recognized was impossible with Apple’s control of iTunes/iPod. They probably sell more HP iPods than other company’s MP3 players.

  2. Yeah, but the HP ads lately (picturebook, etc.) have been rockin’ excellent. Not all is bad with Fiorina. The Compaq deal was just probably a huge blunder which could not be recovered from.

  3. Why is MDN painting the fact that HP is elling the iPod as a stupid deal, a dumb thing for HP to do and the HP CEO got suckered in by Steve Jobs?
    Is the iPod a crappy product?
    Wouldn´t it be great if Sony licensed and sold the iPod, too?
    Whose side are you really on MDN????

  4. There goes the number the number two in HD digital music sales!

    Magic word “actually”… They ACTUALLY beat out everyone else in ONE quarter by selling the HP iPod.

  5. >> Fiorina has done an admirable job managing HP <<
    Bullroar. Go read the 9-page Fortune cover story and you’ll probably cut your fingers off for even typing that. She, and her management team, were a disaster.

  6. MDN
    Carly has installed more copies of iTunes & Quicktime on computers the last 12 months than Apple has. H-P is selling iPods in places that Apple has never done business in EVER. She had the guts to move H-P away from the hegemony of Micro$oftopoly and it’s ever tighter spider’s web. She was trying to teach an Elephant to tap-dance and that’s always a dangerous way to make a living. I think she would make a good member of the Apple Board.

  7. alright, MDN. this is the first time I think you’re being harsh – and this after years of reading.

    maybe Carly got ousted because she saw too far. she realized the best way to compete with iPod was to join Apple, but the rest of the board demurred. more, it probably did not support her sufficiently so that she could launch the Apple+HP initiative properly so it got suffocated before it left the door. you must give her credit for licensing iTunes and iPod. she may have been the only person on the board who realized that was the best way to continue. but, like all short-sighted boards, see where that got her.

    what if she came on the board at Apple? now that would be interesting.

  8. Wow. Normally the peanut gallery here is out for blood. Fiorina f&^*ked up big time folks. She was an incompentent boob. (No pun intended). She should never have been put in that position. The iPod deal never made sense. iTunes bundled sure, but “Apple iPod by HP?” It was nonsense.

    The deal with Compaq was crappy. They wasted a great deal of time and money absorbing the Compaq brand and culture when they should have been INVENTING.

    MDN was not harsh, only accurate. This is business, not education or government. In business when you don’t perform, you’re out.

  9. HP is a bureaucratic monster of a corporation (even after all the layoffs and Agilent split)

    Absorbing a large Corporation while trying to restructure/streamline at the same time would be a huge undertaking.

    I think the shareholders are just pissed because the stock hasn’t moved much in the last 4 years and they are looking for sacrificial lamb.

  10. Have you noticed..

    IBM sells their PC division and consentrates to serve Apple with the processors

    HP´s PC production goes down and Apple compatible printers goes up

    Dell is fraightened

    Apple goes up rapidly

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