With criticism growing against Carly Fiorina for her terrible record at Hewlett-Packward, she’s taking the time to defend the choices she made there.
“When you managed through a technology recession, every technology company – every one – laid people off. It’s a terrible decision to have to make,” Fiorina told Katie Couric on Monday.
Fiorina is being forced to address her professional history after she failed to register carlyfiorina.org and someone else decided to use it to remind the public that she laid of 30,000 employees during her time at Hewlett-Packard. She also was responsible for leading the company into a terrible merger with its one-time rival Compaq.
“But sometimes there are tough decsions that must be made to strengthen a company for the long haul, which we clearly made. … So it was a tough time I managed through. But we transformed a company from failing to succeeding,” she added.
Succeeding may be too strong of a word, as Mother Jones points out:
… The Compaq merger had not yielded the benefits – improved shareholder returns and greater profits – she had promised. At the time of her dismissal, Hewlett-Packard stock was trading at about the same price as when she first unveiled the Compaq deal. Eighty percent of the company’s operating profits were coming from its old-line printing business. She had not succeeded in reviving HP as a computer-selling powerhouse. The day she was dumped, the company’s stock price rose 7 percent.
Fiorina gives a different take on why she was fired from Hewlett-Packard. She doesn’t think it had anything to do with her poor leadership and bad decision making.
“I was fired in a boardroom brawl over a two-week period at Hewlett-Packard because we had board members who were leaking confidential information,” she said. “… I know that when you’re leading – which means you’re challenging the status quo – you’re going to make some enemies along the way. I made some enemies in the boardroom. I’m not embarrassed by it.”