Friday, October 06, 2006

Carly's "Tough Choices"

So Carly Fiorina finally published her memoir of her time at HP. She commented that "Some board members' behavior was amateurish and immature;some didn't do their homework; some had fixed opinions on certain topics and no opinion at all on others." She describes her board as dysfunctional. Isn't that part of the job of the CEO to help mold the board into an efficient working group?

Evidently she also comments that while the board members who were leaking on her were not as smart as they thought they were - "It turns out I wasn't as smart as I needed to be." Well,duh! When Carly took over HP there was a generational change, any leader worth her salary (and bonuses) would have recognized that and worked on the problem.

She tells us that Michael Capellas, the then CEO of Compaq was actually an SOB and a greedy one at that. Gee, what a surprise. Evidently, she does not bother to second guess the rich valuation of Compaq that she foisted on shareholders. She also does not discuss the genuine alternatives to the Compaq gift purchase (at those valuations it was clearly not a strategic purchase).

I am not sure why anyone would want to buy this book unless they wanted to add it to their library of failed tech execs like former Apple CEO Gilbert Amelio. It is either that or a key addition to fairy tales like memoirs of failed political figures like Madeline Albright. If you put a shelf or a bookcase of these types of books together, the wisdom therein would be teaspoon size although I do like Fiorina's admission that "It turns out I wasn't as smart as I needed to be." But then those of us who had to suffer through her tenure as shareholders already got that one.

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