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Hot off the Press - News & Commentary
Wednesday 2/9/2005 by Keith Benicek, Editor

                                 

HP Gives Carly Fiorina The Boot, FINALLY!

Just as she was asked to "leave" Lucent some 7 years ago, it's pretty clear that the Board of HP has pushed this incompetent egomaniac out the door of the Palo Alto Ivy League Hewlett Packard headquarters. And, IT'S ABOUT TIME!

She reportedly alienated HP managers and employees, and put her ego ahead of the better judgement of steering HP into a new Century. Most of Wall Street and market research analysts agreed that the Compaq merger was a bonehead move and it has resulted in nothing for HP. Dell is STILL market leader.

Instead of emphasizing HP's core successful business of printer and Server technologies, Carly went with an overly competitive consumer entertainment market, with gadgets like a "Me Too" iPod that HP has sold few of and makes little if any profit.

Board members said they fired Fiorina, one of corporate America's highest ranking female executives, because she failed to execute a planned strategy of slashing costs and boosting revenue as quickly as directors had hoped. Directors of Palo Alto-based HP appointed chief financial officer Robert P. Wayman to interim chief executive. They also named director Patricia C. Dunn non-executive chairman.

Dunn said Wednesday morning in a conference call with financial analysts that directors had been discussing the change for "quite some time" based on a series of board meetings and consultations with senior advisers, ranging from venture capitalists to academics.

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Dunn and Wayman said the board would consider all candidates but were leaning toward external applicants. They emphasized they did not foresee any other management changes at this time. One of the lead dissenters to the acquisition of Compaq was HP director Walter Hewlett, the son of one of HP's late co-founders, who argued that HP was overpaying and couldn't afford to risk the difficulties of combining the two companies.

Carly Fiorina was hired as HP President in 1999. It was the first of three mistakes by the HP Board. The following year the Board added chairman to her list of titles, making her the first woman to hold all three top posts — president, CEO and chairman — at a major computer company.

Unlike other Blue Chips stocks like IBM and Dell, HP stock has languished at the lows it collapsed to in the 2001 market fall and on the announcement of the Compaq merger debacle.

Anyone around Carly Fiorina has seemed to indicate that everything she did in management decisions were oriented around flashy media attention getters and clearly in an “it’s all about me” egotistical mind set.

Let’s just hope that the Board of HP makes a conservative choice for a replacement and gets the company back on track so stock holders are happy once again.

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