Monday, October 16, 2006

Carly Fiorina's Catty Memoir

For those of us born and raised in what came to be known as Silicon Valley, the rise and fall and rise again of the Hewlett-Packard Corporation has been interesting to watch.

In her book "Tough Choices", Former CEO Carly Fiorina clearly has scores to settle, which get in the way of what might have been a fascinating story. (I link the WSJ because they really do sum up what I have read of it so far, very very well).

To Fiorina's credit, she does not have a ghostwriter, and her book, unlike the works of Jack Welch and Lee Iacocca, has fewer trite nostrums and pretentious pontifications.

However, while Carly Fiorina clearly does have interesting corporate war stories, she appears to have forgotten that utterly bogus "affirmative action" policies were in large part responsible for her rise to power. She should be bitter. No one wanted her just for her mind.

And let's face it Carly, Compaq was a dog, arf arf. Especially for what you had HP pay for it.

Ultimately, what I have read so far seems to be a self serving story with little evidence of honest insight. Not enough honest responsibility for some demonstrably poor decisions. The WSJ sums it up well:

Ms. Fiorina calls some unidentified directors "amateurish and immature." Indeed, the H-P board has lately been racked by scandal and resignations. But Ms. Fiorina sidesteps her own responsibility. She was chairman during most of her H-P days, with the power to remake the 10-member board. She brought in only two fresh faces while accepting several Compaq directors who gained H-P board seats after the 2002 merger.

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