Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lies, Damned lies, and Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina deftly, or perhaps mindlessly, rewrites history with Greta VaSusterens help.

VAN SUSTEREN:... the people who've come out against you basically say you were a rotten CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Were you a rotten CEO or not? Did you get rid of jobs? Did you ship them overseas? What's the story? What's your side of this?

FIORINA: Well, you know, 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.

As a former HP investor, I seem to remember it differently. So does in this CNBC presentation ; Portfolio's Worst American CEOs of All Time :

19. Carly Fiorina

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.

THE STAT: HP stock lost half its value during Fiorina’s tenure.

This chart of HP's performance from 1999-2005 seems to back up Portfolio's assertion. Fiorina is just another carnival barker shinin' US on.

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