As a Boss, Carly Fiorina Was a Contradictory Figure at Hewlett-Packard

A fluff piece for Carly Fiorina by the New York Times. To keep her candidacy pumped up?

From the start, Mrs. Fiorina collided with the entrenched reality of a proud work force steeped in the philosophy and tradition of HP’s founders, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard: a decentralized, paternalistic and slow-moving culture that was nevertheless treasured for its autonomy and egalitarianism.

As the company’s first chief executive to be plucked from outside its management ranks, she went out of her way to convey sensitivity to the founders, reminding executives that she had read Mr. Packard’s book, “The HP Way,” five times. But her mandate, handed down from the board that hired her, was to shake up the company’s stodgy ethos, and she found it difficult to mask her distaste for the rhythms of the workplace she had taken over.

Just a year after arriving, in 2000, she offered a pointed critique of the company in an interview for the employee newsletter. “The list of negatives is too long,” Mrs. Fiorina said. “This is what customers tell us: HP is inflexible and hard to do business with. We don’t meet commitments. We don’t listen to our customers very well.”

In the end, poor financial results and disagreements with the board to which she answered undermined Mrs. Fiorina. But it was a recurring clash — between a leader determined to transform and a work force chafing at the scale and pace of change — that defined and ultimately consumed her at HP, according to interviews with 25 former colleagues, who described their interactions with Mrs. Fiorina and provided internal communications involving her. (She declined a request to be interviewed for this article.)

Read more at the New York Times

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  1. HP Employees Won’t Give Carly Fiorina a Dime | FINES ET INITIA Headlines

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