There’s a lot of buzz about Carly Fiorina being part of John McCain’s inner circle and how she might be a candidate for Veep. Now, being that she hasn’t been elected to any office I doubt she’ll start at the top, most likely she’ll be in a support role much like Condoleeza Rice is currently. Still, that is pretty important since McCain himself has said he’s not adept at financial matters. The first time I heard about Carly Fiorina was in a report from Jay Nordlinger’s Davos Journal in 2004. Here’s what he said:

On to Carly Fiorina: She is CEO of Hewlett Packard, and she speaks in crisp, clear English. It is almost completely devoid of international-conference-speak, which is refreshing. She is like a cool glass of verbal water.

But what is the content of that water? She says that “the fundamental objective” of her company — the fundamental objective, mind you! — is not “to make money” but “to do good,” “to be a good international citizen.” When she says “make money,” she makes it sound so dirty. She borrows the old Quaker business about not just doing well but doing good.

Fine and dandy, of course, but I find myself wishing — not for the first time — that businessmen would be a little less defensive and more self-confident. They have nothing to apologize for. Does Hewlett Packard want to do good? Then let it invent and manufacture products that people need — or want, or that make their lives better — and sell them at affordable prices. That is doing good.

I hate to be more pro-Hewlett Packard than the CEO of Hewlett Packard, but . . . I tell you, I would wet my pants with joy if one of these people, at one of these conferences, said, “You know? People like Henry Ford and Bill Gates have done more for humanity than any thousand soi-disant benefactors-of-humanity put together.”

Except for the wetting of the pants I would agree with Jay.

Here’s a couple of snippets from wikipedia on Fiorina’s performance at Hewlett Packard.

HP’s services continued to lose market share to IBM, and HP continued to rely on its lucrative printer division to remain profitable

As HP’s performance slowed, the Board of Directors became increasingly concerned. In early January 2005, the HP Board of Directors presented Fiorina with a four-page list of issues the board had with Fiorina’s performance.[22] A week after the meeting, the plan was leaked to the Wall Street Journal.[23] The board proposed a plan to shift her authority to HP division heads, which Fiorina resisted.[24]

On 9 February 2005, Carly Fiorina was dismissed as chairman and chief executive officer of HP.

After her departure from Hewlett-Packard in 2005, the company prospered, overtaking Dell as the biggest computer maker in the world. Her defenders, as well as some critics, credit her with laying foundations for that prosperity.

All in all I’d say lukewarm CEO at best. Ladies and Gentleman our next Secretary of Commerce!

Carly Fiorina for Veep?
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3 thoughts on “Carly Fiorina for Veep?

  • That’s the problem of your merely using sharply edited clippings. When Carly Fiorina arrived at HP, it had had nine quarters of no growth and was dysfunctional in its board, with people who refused to talk to each other. It was an economic downturn; remember when the tech bubble burst?
    You praise Henry Ford without realising that he was a fascist. I’ll take Carly’s globally conscious citizenry any day. She conscientiously administered harsh medicine; predictably the company first suffered while the antibiotics were working. After, she was gone, their corporate board fights were tumbling into the open, but the medicine that Carly had administered, including the merger, was begining to pay off, even while HP’s dysfunctional board went on fighting, spying, and under investigation. During her tenure, it revealed itself as the mysogynistic clique that most of the business world is.
    Having served on two company boards, I could see things just the way Carly described them in her landmark book, “Tough Choices.”
    She’s a leader and an original; as she travels the political stump answering tough questions by the liberal press, her answers are wise, prudent, and visonary, recalling Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper. She has a theme, a cause, and a conscience. All told with exemplary intelligence. Many are jealous. She might just end up as the new American Thatcher.

  • I can tentatively go with you, Jack, on sharply edited clippings and delayed reaction to management practices, not knowing any more about her tenure.

    But one has to admit that poo-pooing the concept of profit is not “visionary” or “tough,” it’s indeed Progressive poppycock. But I’d love to read “Tough Choices” if it’s that good. Sounds suspiciously like “Hard Calls” or whatever John McCain’s book is called.

    Can you explain, though, in what way Henry Ford is a Fascist?

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