Thursday, October 1, 2015

NYT: "Carly Fiorina Really Was That Bad"

Anyone remotely interested in the campaign of Carly Fiorina for president ought to first read this biting, yet entirely reasonable column about her by Steven Rattner in the New York Times, where he explains that Mrs. Fiorina was a failure in business:

"Americans should pause on her biggest professional credential for our highest office: a short, disastrous stint atop one of America’s iconic technology companies, Hewlett-Packard. The clearest measure of her performance — and the report card preferred by Wall Street — is H.P.’s stock price, which dropped by 52 percent during her tenure of almost six years."

Fiorina did one big thing at H.P. and it was a huge disaster:

"The most ruinous aspect of Mrs. Fiorina’s tenure was her decision to acquire another “old tech” hardware company, Compaq Computer Corporation, instead of moving more heavily into services and software, as IBM did."

Virtually everyone who has examined her years as the C.E.O. of H.P. agrees she was terrible:

"Investors were so down on her that H.P.’s shares jumped by almost 7 percent on the day of her firing. And in ensuing years, she appeared on several “worst C.E.O.” lists, including those of CBS News and USA Today. In 2009, Portfolio magazine ranked her the 19th worst C.E.O. of all time and described her as a “consummate self-promoter” who was “busy pontificating on the lecture circuit and posing for magazine covers while her company floundered.” 

Despite being an utter failure, the idiots on the H.P. Board of Directors who hired her and later fired her paid her millions of dollars to leave that company after she ruined it:

"She banked $21 million in severance payments as part of the more than $100 million in compensation she received during what one critic called her “destructive reign of terror” (which included pushing for H.P. to acquire five corporate jets.)"

Mr. Rattner exposes the fact that Mrs. Fiorina was not just a failure as the C.E.O. at H.P. She also played an important role in destroying Lucent Technologies, a spin-off company of A.T.&T., previously known as Bell Labs:

"Less attention has been paid to her time at Lucent Technologies, where she rose through the marketing ranks, learning the sales techniques that she is now putting to good use on the stump. Soon after she left, Lucent veered off a cliff, and while she was never the chief executive, part of the company’s collapse stemmed from overly aggressive sales and loans to financially shaky customers made under her supervision."

It is especially odd that anyone thinks Fiorina is qualified to be president, given that she failed in business and has no experience in elective office:

"The lack of public service or sustained business success makes Mrs. Fiorina unqualified for the nation’s highest office. By comparison, Mitt Romney had built an extraordinarily successful investment firm and served for four years as governor of Massachusetts."

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