Carly Fiorina on the HP Scandal

There are two sides to every story, and Fiorina's book apparently gives a very different perspective on her time at HP than what the media portrayed when she first left. Fortune has an interview with her, and she doesn't pull any punches.

As for her successor, Mark Hurd, Fiorina's judgment remains suspended. If anything, she gives him tepid endorsement: "I think to call the last 18 months a turnaround is frankly foolish. That's not to take anything away from what Mark has done… Certainly I agreed with his decision to continue to cut costs. It was what I was planning to do." She says that "clearly" HP is on the same course she charted when she was CEO.

She describes the HP she found on arrival in the frankest terms (as she does in the book). "Everybody at HP focused on incrementalism." "HP had become a bureaucracy." "We had 87 different product lines that never talked to each other. This was not a customer-focused business."

They also offer the complete transcript on the site.

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  • IMHO this is a lady with major “issues.” Her 60 minutes interview reminded me of an old movie:

    Lt. Greenwald: I’m afraid the defense has no other recourse than to produce Lt. Harding.

    Queeg: Now there’s no need for that I know exactly what he’ll tell you. Lies! He was no different than any officer in the wardroom — they were all disloyal, I tried to run the ship properly by the book but they fought me at every turn. If the crew wanted to walk around with their shirttails hanging out that’s all right let them take the tow line. Defective equipment no more no less, but they encouraged the crew to go around scoffing at me and spreading wild rumors about steaming and circles. And then old yellow stain. I was to blame for Lt. Merrick’s incompetence and poor seamanship. Lt. Merrick was the perfect officer but not Captain Queeg.
    Ah, but the strawberries! That’s where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes, but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, and with geometric logic, that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox did exist! And I’d have produced that key if they hadn’t pulled Caine out of action! I-I-I know now they were only trying to protect some fellow officer and!……(realizes he has been ranting, babbling)
    Naturally, I can only cover these things from memory if I’ve left anything out, why, just ask me specific questions and I’ll be glad to answer them…one-by-one…
    (from The Caine Mutiny
    written by Stanley Roberts, Michael Blankfort, from the novel by Herman Wouk)

  • Melinda

    You can find a quote from her book on how the whole leak thing started.

  • Lewis Green

    I, too, watched the “60 Minutes” piece. Carly may have been wronged, only a few know the truth. But she is not a sympathetic character, making me want to believe her. Her ego runneth over.

  • Very interesting. Whether I agree or not it’s nice to hear a different side.