On Fox News, where apparently facts don’t matter anymore, Carly Fiorina (who is running for senator in California, despite a total lack of political experience) stated:
I’m really proud of my record, and the good thing about business is the facts are clear. The numbers are clear. I managed HP through the worst technology recession in 25 years. And despite those tough times, we doubled the size of the business from $44 billion to $88 billion. We tripled the rate of innovation to 11 patents a day. We quintupled the cash flow. We improved the profitability in every product line. We created market-leading positions in every category in which we competed. And our stock out-performed the technology peer (ph) index by 23 percent.
Yes, we were in tough times, and some people, sadly, unfortunately, lost their jobs. But I know, like families and businesses know, that if you make the tough choices well, you emerge stronger. And so, in fact, net-net, we created jobs.
I don’t get it. I work in the computer industry, and I remember Fiorina’s stint as the CEO of Hewlett Packard well. Previous to Fiorina, HP had a reputation as the best printer manufacturer, but under her stewardship that changed. The company I was running at the time even stopped buying printers from HP because their product quality declined and their customer support went into the toilet. Charging high prices for crappy products with poor support may “improve profitability” in the short term, but it is a very bad long-term strategy.
Fiorina brags about doubling the size of the business, but that was largely due to the disastrous merger with Compaq, for which Fiorina was personally responsible. The London Observer called it a “total flop”, and according to Fortune magazine:
First, under the only lens that matters, did the famed merger that Fiorina engineered between HP and Compaq produce value for HP’s shareholders? Second, with that merger nearly three years past, is HP in shape to thrive in its brutally competitive world? The answers are no and doubtful. … This was a big bet that didn’t pay off, that didn’t even come close to attaining what Fiorina and HP’s board said was in store.
HP lost its position as the #1 PC maker to Dell, saw their stock price cut in half, and laid off 18,000 workers. These are the numbers that are clear. Fiorina’s claim that she created jobs is simply a lie. In fact, Portfolio magazine rated Fiorina the “19th Worst CEO of All Time” saying:
A consummate self-promoter, Fiorina was busy pontificating on the lecture circuit and posing for magazine covers while her company floundered. She paid herself handsome bonuses and perks while laying off thousands of employees to cut costs. The merger Fiorina orchestrated with Compaq in 2002 was widely seen as a failure. She was ousted in 2005.
In fact, Fiorina was fired from her job, the job that she claims is her biggest achievement. What did the stock market think of Fiorina? According to the Associated Press:
H-P’s stock, which has gone nowhere for two years and is down two-thirds from its peak in 2000, rose almost 7 percent after earlier soaring almost 11 percent on the news of her ouster.
Why would anyone vote for this clown?
UPDATE: I thought it was bad enough that Fiorina was trying to compare herself to Sarah Palin (with statements like “Similar to Sarah Palin, we can look up to Carly”), but why would anyone want to be compared to Michelle Bachmann? But now political groups are trying to redefine feminism in the “Palin-Fiorina-Bachmann” mold.