Carly Fiorina’s Hewlett-Packard tenure: A disputed legacy

“Carly Fiorina took the stage at the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to introduce a new camera from Hewlett-Packard Co., joined by singer Gwen Stefani, who shot a selfie with the beaming chief executive,” Robert McMillan reports for The Wall Street Journal. “‘I can’t believe I’m on stage with this woman,’ said Ms. Stefani, who was introduced by Ms. Fiorina as H-P’s ‘hippest product engineer’ for the singer’s help designing the camera’s case and accessories.”

“Ms. Fiorina wasn’t around long enough to see the camera ship to stores. She was fired a month later by the H-P board of directors,” McMillan reports. “As Ms. Fiorina campaigns for the Republican Party nomination, she presents her tenure at H-P from July 1999 to February 2005 as evidence of a business-based competence she would bring to the White House.”

“‘Carly is a brilliant sales person, and she did an exquisitely good job of selling the Compaq merger to a cynical market,’ said George Keyworth, a former H-P board member. ‘But what she could not do was execute,'” McMillan reports. “Ms. Fiorina’s supporters, who include former H-P chief financial officer Bob Wayman, said the acquisition gave the company an advantage over its fastest-charging rival at the time, Dell, and set up H-P to survive the tech carnage of the early 2000s. ‘If Carly had survived another six-to-nine months, I think she wouldn’t have been fired,’ he said.”

“The board ousted Ms. Fiorina as the deal was about to bear fruit, according to Mr. Wayman and other supporters. Among those who have since been persuaded to that view is Tom Perkins, a venture capitalist who had retired from the H-P board while Ms. Fiorina was CEO but returned to vote for her ouster,” McMillan reports. “The board’s discontent led to a standoff that Ms. Fiorina lost.”

“In 1999, H-P had been a highly decentralized company with dozens of autonomous entities, each responsible for their own profit and loss statements. By 2005, Ms. Fiorina had centered power in the CEO’s office,” McMillan reports. “The board wanted her to give some of it back… Ms. Fiorina put her foot down. ‘The board decided that if she wouldn’t yield on these things, she would have to go,’ said Mr. Perkins, the former H-P board member. ‘But Carly demanded that she be fired.'”

“Since voting to fire Ms. Fiorina, Mr. Perkins has transformed into a supporter, contributing $25,000 to the Carly for America super PAC and planning to host a fundraiser for her presidential bid at his San Francisco penthouse. He now blames H-P’s board for the company’s troubles, and said Ms. Fiorina deserved credit for improvements that Mr. Hurd achieved as CEO,” McMillan reports. “‘He did a very good job of implementing the structure that Carly had put in place,’ Mr. Perkins said. ‘He was more acceptable to the mass of Hewlett-Packard employees than Carly was. I mean, Carly was a glamour figure.'”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We want those soy sauce-dispensing chopsticks! (See full article.)

As for Fiorina, we know one thing: She got Jobbed. She wasn’t the first nor was she the last. As we wrote back in February 2005:

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!”

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has a long history of talking about Steve Jobs – September 17, 2015
Carly Fiorina: Tim Cook’s opposition to Indiana religious freedom law hypocritical – April 6, 2015
Report: Hewlett-Packard to stop reselling Apple iPods by September [UPDATED] – July 29, 2005
Carly Fiorina resigns as boss of Hewlett-Packard – February 9, 2005
Hewlett-Packard ousts CEO Carly Fiorina, and what was with that ‘Apple iPod by HP’ deal anyway? – February 9, 2005
Analyst: Hewlett-Packard may want to make their own MP3 music players – July 29, 2005
HP adds ‘Apple iPod shuffle from HP’ to digital music player line – July 01, 2005
Hewlett-Packard adds ‘Apple iPod mini from HP’ to iPod digital music player lineup – June 02, 2005
Hewlett-Packard expands branded iPod lineup, announces ‘Apple iPod photo from HP’ models – April 12, 2005
Hewlett-Packard adds ‘iPod dock holder’ to latest Media Center desktop – March 31, 2005
What’s the point of continuing the ‘Apple iPod by HP’ deal? – March 30, 2005
Apple, Hewlett-Packard debut new iPod television commericals – August 30, 2004
Hewlett-Packard-branded Apple iPod to debut Friday – August 26, 2004
Why Hewlett-Packard took Apple’s iPod shortcut – February 02, 2004


  1. If you talked to many of the engineers & managers on the tech side of HP, they thought that Carly was the kiss of death to innovation at HP.

    A heck of a lot of them got fired or sold off.

    That is only one side of the story, but you hear it a lot.

    1. Agree, many sides to a story.

      For example, Gil Amelio was the second best CEO at Apple. He made some difficult calls with NeXT OS or should I say Mac OSX. Many Apple die hards just can not stand Gil, just like many will hate Carly.

      It was a tuff time with the economy, layoffs everywhere in the tec sector, stock market problems, and companies like, Compaq, Dell and HP redefining itself.

      She also had one of the worst Board of Directors while at HP. CEO’s hands are often tied by the Board of Directors. Thats why Steve Jobs change the board, and picked a “Yes Sir” Board of Directors at Apple.

      Great article about Carly:

  2. I am getting the idea that Carly Fiorina is a creature of that doom scenario for business, Marketing-As-Management. I like the fact that she is good with facts and figures in the R debates. Then again, she totally blew here line about Planned Parenthood and the mythical video of a fetus being kept alive for brain extraction. That was a total FAIL of inaccurate blundering, as has been pointed out ad nauseam in the press over the last couple weeks.

    Using imaginary facts to support a bullshit political talking point. Soooo familiar. Just puke in the bucket Carly. Not into our ears and eyes, thank you.

      1. Stem Express, LLC, is where the described (not shown) events took place. Obviously, that is not Planned Parenthood. Q.E.D. IOW: No bullshit required.

        Sorry George, but this video is a FAIL at its point of nailing Planned Parenthood. Shenanigans!

        As for what Holly O’Donnell describes at Stem Express, LLC, I entirely see and agree with her point of view. What she describes sounds like vivisection of an embryo (again, never demonstrated in the video, despite bullshit to the contrary).

        There is a moving, apparently alive embryo shown, writhing around. That’s horrifying and I agree with anyone finding it abhorrent. I cannot deal with aborting a fetus that is capable of living on its own. Abortion within the first trimester is where I’d personally draw the line.

        As for the rest of my personal point of view:
        – Abortion is an abomination. It is most commonly the outcome of human beings not taking responsibility for their behavior, IOW having sex without taking into account the point of sex, that being procreation. Sadly, a large part of humanity does NOT take responsibility for their actions.
        – There are abortions that preserve the life of the mother. Those are obviously not abominations and I resent people who say the life of the fetus is more important than the life of the mother. There’s some bullshit for you.
        – Abortions are going to happen, like it or not. So make them SAFE and LEGAL. Otherwise, we’re back to women ending up killing themselves or wrecking their reproductive organs with wire hangers or back alley butchery. That’s never acceptable.
        – YES, abortion is a matter of choice of the woman. Deal with it. That’s not going to change, disagree with abortion as we may.
        – Grotesque hypocrisy is someone demanding that all fetuses be born, then turning their back on the welfare of the resulting child, leaving them to suffer in life from a mother than DOES NOT WANT THEM. The consistent result of such a life is a criminal person, thoroughly lost in their life and detrimental to the lives of others. What is wrong with the morons who think such a life is worth living? An unloved child is ANOTHER abomination of humanity. I don’t deal with the idiots who are anti-choice, then are anti-life once a child is born. That’s intensely sick, even psychopathic stuff. Where is the conscience of such people. Hmm?!
        – The entire concept of using aborted fetuses for science or anything else other than a respectful burial (etc.) sickens me. The concept of harvesting the young to feed the old and infirm makes me ill.

        Where’s my ginger ale? This subject makes me feel sick on so many levels. Would that mankind could learn to be responsible for its actions. I dream and strive for that in my work and my philosophy as well as offering we responsible human beings maximum choice in our lives.

  3. Citizen’s of the free world know that Carly Fiorina supports CIA water boarding and as a total leap of logic believes that it keeps her nation is safe. No nation that lowers themselves into the bowels of torture is safe. It’s going to be a real added extra dose of karma is she or someone like her gets elected.

  4. Fiorina would make a lot better president than that lying ass Hilarious Cliton (not misspelled from Klingon). Soon we will be rid of the Kenyan and start to patch up the country.

    1. Absolutely correct. Bernie Sanders for President.

      Note that the president isn’t the biggest problem with the USA right now. Economically, Obama will go down in history as the guy who guided America along after Bush presided over the biggest financial meltdown since the 1929 stock crash. Does anyone agree with the bailout methods? Practically no one, including me. But they seem to have worked. The USA is economically more vibrant than any other nation in the world right now. Of course, Germany would be if it didn’t have to deal with an endless stream of war refugees, but lack of proper fiscal regulation is the fault of Congress. If the USA borrowed major concepts from the German tax code, the USA would be an unstoppable economic success. As it is now, corporatocracy is ensuring that US small businesses are screwed and the richest multinational corporations pay taxes to no one.

      1. The biggest financial meltdown was not caused by Bush; it was caused by Democratic policies that guaranteed mortgages to people who couldn’t pay them back.

        There is little doubt that Barakis Obamis will go down as the most successful president in our nations history. He has accomplished most, if not all, of his goals… Destroying the military, flooding America with uneducated, illiterate future democratic voters, ensuring war and possible destruction of Israel, setting race relations back decades and crushing mostly red states with his EPA regulations. A job well done indeed.

    1. She is a liar and responsible for the deaths of our Ambassador in Libya and 3 others. She is a sickening, lying assdog, negligent moron who would further endanger the USA. She showed her assclown credentials with that embarrassing display of the reset button with Russia. She stinks up the room with her conceit and pompous manner. Now her email antics and further deceit and lying endanger a number of other people and have given secrets to the Russian and Chinese ass scum. Hope she is arrested and thrown in prison, then used by the yardbirds as gang meat.

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