The rebirth of Carly Fiorina as a political pundit is striking. She was a panelist again Sunday morning on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos prompting skeptical commentary among some who actually remember her tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. What many non tech viewers may not realize is that during Fiorina’s time at HP, the stock lost half its value and laid off tens of thousands of employees. Fiorina was forced out of the company with a very golden golden parachute.
Fiorina led HP from 2000 to 2005 where she engineered the buyout of Compaq and was deemed by one publication as one of the 20 worst CEOs of all time.
In 2008, she was economic advisor to Republican presidential Candidate John McCain’s failed presidential bid; two years later she she ran and lost a US senatorial campaign in California to incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer.
There was quite a bit of commentary on Twitter, much of it negative:
It's nice to see Carly Fiorina on morning talk shows where she's harmless rather than in a boardroom where she can do some serious damage.—
David Poole (@linuxlizard) February 03, 2013
But Ms. Fiorina did have her defenders as well:
The resurgence of Ms. Fiorina was the topic of discussion at my house later Sunday where another tech reporter said a big part of HP’s current problems could stem from the fact that two of its last three non-interim CEOs – Fiorina and current CEO Meg Whitman — are would-be politicians. Whitman, became CEO of HP in September, 2011 lost her $160 million campaign for governor of California to Jerry
Gerry Brown in 2010.
“Say what you want about [former IBM CEO] Lou Gerstner. He was a businessman and wasn’t off running for something.” And the respective fortunes of HP and IBM could not be more different.