On the heels of her announcement that she will seek the Republican nomination for the Senate seat from California currently held by Barbara Boxer, I thought I'd review the "high" points of Carly Fiorina's career.
- She led the spin-off of Lucent from AT&T. Lucent's IPO price was $7.56 per share, and it quickly rose to $84, meaning that the IPO left 90% of the potential money on the table. Within four years Lucent was struggling, and after 6 years, Lucent's stock had crashed to $0.55 per share. Obviously she wasn't 100% responsible for all this, but she certainly played a key role.
- As CEO of Hewlett-Packard, she was an unmitigated disaster. Over the 5 1/2 years she led the company, HP's stock price went from $55 to $21, a 62% decline, while competitor Dell gained 8% over the same time. She merged HP with one of the crappiest PC makers ever, Compaq. She got in a public dispute with HP board member Walter Hewlett, the son of co-founder William Hewlett. On the day Fiorina was forced out of HP, the stock price jumped 6.9% while the broader markets were down. She has subsequently been called the "anti-Steve Jobs" and one of the 20 worst American CEOs of all time.
- She was a key advisor to John McCain in his 2008 presidential campaign, during which she described Sarah Palin as "a person of great accomplishment", before sticking her foot in her mouth by saying that Palin lacked the experience to run a major company like Hewlett Packard, later adding that none of the candidates on the Democratic or Republican tickets had the experience to run a major business.
Sounds like a great nominee for the Republican Party!