Monday, September 21, 2015

Good Question

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld reviews Carly Fiorina’s tenure at HP and asks a simple but good question:

If the board was wrong, the employees wrong, and the shareholders wrong—as Fiorina maintains—why in 10 years has she never been offered another public company to run?

Let’s hear it.

 

5 barks and woofs on “Good Question

  1. This is Barbara Boxer’s point precisely. Fiorina was, Boxer says, the nastiest, meanest candidate she ever faced in her years of running for public office. Maybe there’s a clue to why no one wants her.

  2. Why? One word: Lucent.

    Fiorina left Lucent to join HP. Her time at Lucent was critical: it was the dawn of the post-Arpanet Internet, and Lucent was THE telecom hardware manufacturer. Fiorina engaged in some seriously dodgy sales tactics, and she – quite forcefully – guided the firm away from data products, focusing instead on the voice infrastructure (POTS and POTS² so to speak). Lucent didn’t tank until after she left, but the damage was done while she was there: by consciously ignoring the data market, Lucent ceded the field to Cisco and other manufacturers, and the largest change in telecom went without the oldest, most respected firm playing a part.

    Anyone at HP watching what happened to Lucent thanks to Fiorina’s [mis]guidance would be hard pressed to feel optimistic about her work regardless regardless of the outcome. And after the fiasco of Lucent’s implosion and the troubles at HP a board would be insane to give her another shot.

    Additionally, Fiorina’s shortsightedness and lack of imagination do not bode well for her potential policies as President. If she’s too blind to see the Internet coming as leader of a telecom hardware giant, too interested in the quarterly bottom line to plan effectively and too geared to M&A over sustainable growth, she’s not likely to be at all effective steering a nation through stable growth let alone the kinds of crises the WH sees on a regular basis.

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