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Hewlett-Packard Company Message Board

  • nielsboar nielsboar Aug 5, 2003 11:09 PM Flag

    Carly Fiorina interview with Forbe's

    by: oversieze 08/05/03 06:29 pm
    Msg: 40653 of 40660

    She sees a great tech reckoning coming that will unleash cataclysmic consolidation. She says that in the past, high tech grew at five times the growth of the economy (GDP), but it will now grow at only two times GDP. She says the business model that worked for tech in the 1990s will not work in the future. Corporations are already running with the greatly improved productivity that tech provided them in the 1990s. Further gains in productivity will be hard to come up with, so corporate customers will no longer jump to accept new tech products so easily. Tech companies will have to provide more service and power, and at lower costs. The result will be that the tech sector will have to lay off many more workers and outsource to lower cost countries in an effort to survive. "Some companies will get rolled up (acquired), others will slowly slip away. The easy growth they achieved in the past does not prepare them for the slower future." It is her belief that many tech companies with good products that can't create new markets or steal business from competitors will be valued like the old-line maker of washing machines.

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    • Carly the visionary, lol. Did Forbes tell you what Carly's background is, that she has come to be able to "know all and tell all" in the technology sector? She's a Medieval History and Philosophy major, with an MBA in marketing from a 3rd rate B-school, and a "fast track" meaningless additional credential from MIT's B-school. Does she have a degree in engineering? No. Has she worked in product design, or have much of a clue as to how the stuff works? No. Her thing is marketing, which to her evidently has something to do with passing out flowers and baloons, redesigning company logos to make them banal (e.g. Lucent's "sloppy circle", HP's "invent"), and getting "sales" via undercutting the competition to the point of losing money, or via financing those sales yourself (i.e. give the stuff away free, in exchange for i.o.u.s that might never be redeemable).

      Can anyone point to one lasting business success that Carly has ever had, while at AT&T, Lucent, or HP? Can anyone identify why Carly is actually qualified to be CEO of HP? Every time I've asked that question in the past, I've either gotten no answer, or answers such as "she wouldn't have been hired if she weren't great". But no one actually can identify why Carly has this job. Even at AT&T, she evidently didn't start moving up career-wise until she caught the eye (romantically) of HP's highly placed executive Frank Fiorina. Now whether Frank actually helped move her up the ladder in ways other than giving her advice about how to do it, one will never know. But to me it says that Carly is just a 3rd rate history-philosophy major, who got lucky by marrying a top executive at a company where promotions seem to be based on "pull" rather than ability and track-record. Even Carly's "success" at Lucent turned out to be ephemeral, as that company collapsed shortly after she departed. To my thinking, the "success" at Lucent was never real in the first place.

      So now Carly brings that background to HP, and she's quoted in Forbes as some kind of sage prognosticator. What a laugh. She's basically "Chauncey Gardner" of Being There, someone with very little real-world knowledge who gets taken seriously by an adoring press. My guess is that HP's receptionists know as much about the future of tech as Carly does. Maybe more. Those who take Carly's prognostications seriously are setting themselves up for major disappointment. You've got to realize that Carly sees being a CEO as a "performance", as in an act - she's said so herself (used that exact word: performance). So she seemingly "acts" like she knows what she's talking about, as part of that "performance". I don't buy into her "act". Just my opinions.

      • 6 Replies to Alex1444
      • "Can anyone point to one lasting business success that Carly has ever had,..."

        Sure...she beat the pants off an anti-merger coalition of WH+other family interests and whiny employees (who would be denied their sinecure in a company that would have to enter the real world) and pointed the company into the future. She won that battle and is now executing a plan that is receiving generally favorable review in the financial press.

        Now, what have you done for HPQ, except whine?

        HPQ Long

      • Great Post Alex...

        _____________________________________________
        You've got to realize that Carly sees being a CEO as a "performance", as in an act - she's said so herself (used that exact word: performance). So she seemingly "acts" like she knows what she's talking about, as part of that "performance". I don't buy into her "act". Just my opinions.
        ________________________________________

        The simple way of describing this is that CF is "marketing" herself just as the inane "invent" is meant to market PCs. What you have is a very sophisticated used car saleswoman.

        Remember John Akers CEO of IBM in the 80s? He rose through the ranks as a SALESMAN, became CEO, and almost destroyed the company. Then the IBM board went out and got an businessman named Gerstner who looks at profits and finances and the bottom line to do what he could to clean the place up- meaning look at everything they sell and see if it is important and profitable.

        The result? He slowly but surely reduced big blue's dependence on the hopeless PC business and started the shift to services in the mid 90's.

        Meanwhile the new compaq's marketing wizardess believes she can turn a shit business like selling PCs into caviar just by branding and bullshit. Ain't gonna work. PK.

      • Whoops, when I wrote:

        <<< Even at AT&T, she evidently didn't start moving up career-wise until she caught the eye (romantically) of HP's highly placed executive Frank Fiorina>>>

        I meant of course AT&T's Frank Fiorina, not HP's. Sorry about that. Again, just my opinions, as is my opinion that HPQ stock will go to $5 before the end of 2004. And sadly for me, I have yet to take a short position or buy put options, so there's no particular benefit to my seeing the stock go down at this point.

      • As always, good post, Alex. Good to see you visit, as you invariably bring with you the ring of truth.

      • Wonderful reference to Chauncey Gardner.

    • You seem to be confusing proxy voting with democracy. Corporations are dictatorships that listen to shareowners only in the very rare case that some of them control a huge enough block of shares to win a proxy fight (as WH almost did). The same stench of corruption that still lingers over the HP merger vote is the smell that characterized the Wall Street scandals of the Internet bubble.

      We all lost. We lost because liars and thieves rigged the markets with bribes and secret deals. Fiorina was one of the worst, but there were plenty of others. The money Fiorina stole from Lucent came out of the 401Ks of millions of people; the money she is plundering from HP comes out of YOUR ROI. Ask not for whom the bell tolls at the end of the trading day, ztruth; it tolls for you.

    • Maybe non of the above. CF loves the big picture, but she does not have the experience to run such a technology company or something like that. I beleive you could do a better job.

    • I believe that Dick engineered a boardroom coup which he started agitating for immediately after Rick Beluzzo quit in 1997.

      He found something to use as a wedge - HWP's supposed lagging performance and failure to seize on the Internet "Revolution." (Of course, in hindsight, if HWP had jumped headlong into the the WWW & committed huge resources to it, HWP would be in MUCH worse shape now.) These were just excuses for Hack & possibly Phil condit to force Lew out, after Dave was gone. By the time Hack had decided Carly was "The One," Lew just wanted out.... He probably would have Ok'ed any warm body.... Now, of course, Hack is quietly the force behind Carly & his power + Carly's + Phil's completely dominate the board. Somehow these 3 in lockstep are able to do WHATEVER they want. Clearly, the things being done are not in the best interest of the shareholders or the employees, not to mention the deterioration of customer satisfaction.

      As I've stated repeatedly in posts, HPQ is no better off now than in 1999 when Lew gratefully exited. In fact, the disintegration of morale makes HPQ, IMHO, a very risky proposition for a long term investment.
      --fedupwithu2

    • Hey Col Buck, I remembered another "shady" bit related to Carly and her Compaq merger. We can add this to the list:

      - ISS, the so-called "Institutional Shareholder Service", weighed in for Carly's merger after supposed careful "study". One of HP's board members controlled a huge block of shares for a mutual fund, and she said she would vote however the ISS decided. Other mutual funds may have been influenced by this. What I found interesting was that 1) the board member "relied" on the ISS's decision, supposedly without knowing what that would be in advance. 2) The author of the pro-Fiorina decision was a guy named Ram Kumar, who later admitted to falsely claiming some academic credentials that he did not have.

      http://www.computerweekly.com/Article116115.htm

      Connect the dots, and you can see - here was a guy who was willing to lie in order to make money. Here was a board member who would "rely" on the ISS report to make her decision. The board member controlled enough shares that the merger would NOT have passed if she voted those shares NO. Yet again, this is another example of how Carly's "victory" was shady and tainted.

    • No I don't. And you already know the answer to #2, as if it mattered, which it doesn't.

    • Good point! I forgot about the Warburg Pincus connection. Investment bankers are always pro-merger, because it means fat fees for themselves. Sure enough ISS was for the merger, and yet Warburg Pincus had a conflict of interest stake there. Like most of the fishy goings-on surrounding the merger, it stinks. Anyone who thought there was a level playing field regarding Carly's merger, should have their head examined.

    • Lew retired with kudos all around.

      HP sales expanded from ~13B to 50B+ (4 X) in his 8 years AND never a single quarter lost money. Moreover, no one got fired due to management follies. HP was always the best place to work.

      Carl came in and started to bash those who came before. What surprised me most is that Carl is still bashing all the ex-hpers as dying non-inventive engineers! Well, we all know the end result, layoffs and sea of red ink. Demoralized workforce and destruction of the most excellent Bave and Bill adventure.

    • good bunch of bullshit there, shbrom. You may well have the goober convinced anyway.

    • How about it was just some judgement/hirring error?

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