Carly Won't Get Votes From HP'ers Paul Losch's Community Blog, posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Sep 2, 2010 at 12:58 pm Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
I had a fun discussion with an acquaintance last weekend. She once worked at HP, and still does some consulting for the company. Interestingly, she also has consulted at Meg Whitman's old company, EBay.
She made a comment that the people she knows and works with at both places will not vote for Carly for US Senator or Meg for Governor. Boiling down a complex discussion to its essence: both were unpleasant to work for. Carly was especially criticized for how she ran HP, less of that with Meg.
All this is purely anecdotal, but many of us have friends and neighbors who work at both places. I hear more of the HP story, and from others around Carly, and she clearly was, to put it mildly, a polarizing figure. For those that heard her "debate" Barbara Boxer (for whom I hold little regard,) it is pretty clear that she has some vulnerabilities on policy questions, and her track record.
Meg was a very effective CEO at EBay and I don't have any close contacts at that company, so the comment by my acquaintance surprised me a bit, but I can see it could be the case. Most people I know around town and elsewhere are very tired of Meg's media overkill. Meg is a former Procter and Gamble brand manager who now is peddling Brand Meg, to excess in the opinion of many I talk with.
I remember in the mid-1970's, a mediocre incumbent Senator, John Tunney, ran for re-election and lost to former SF State U President SI Hayakawa, who was a equally mediocre choice for a US Senate seat.
Between Brown and Boxer, Meg and Carly, the bar once again is set pretty low.
As one very witty friend of mine put it: "I will vote against the evil of two lessers."
Posted by Chris, a resident of the Fairmeadow neighborhood, on Sep 2, 2010 at 1:27 pm
I have also heard from neighbors, formerly at HP, who hated Carly. However, they were then, and still are, dead wood (real whiners). Carly was faced with an ingrown company, grown fat and lazy under the paternalistic 'family' of "Dave" and "Bill". When Carly got there it was headed downhill fast.
I don't care for her, personally, because I don't like bitchy women. However, I must say that she turned that company around, with her aquisition of Compaq as well as her willingness to cut the dead wood and sense of entitlement at that company. HP is better off having had her there. Mark Hurd was protected from the dirty work (except his own!), because of Carly, and he was able to focus on strategic mergers and aquisitions.
I will vote for Carly, even though I don't support some of her social issues. California needs a tough broad, and she is one.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 2, 2010 at 5:31 pm
The way I look at it is that employees may not like either of these women from the way they run their companies, but they do have a choice and they may not like Brown or Boxer even less. As you say, voting may be for the lesser of two evils (or even eviler of two lessers).
There is an old saying, better the devil you know than the devil you don't know, and since Brown and Boxer are both already known, it may be a case of which devil do you like least - the one already involved in politics or the one new to the game but already known in business.
Posted by Carly for Me, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Sep 2, 2010 at 6:14 pm
Reminds me FAR too much about the reporter who was shocked when Bush won because she "didn't know anyone who voted for him".
This is just plain old silly.
Like someone said, frankly, anyone would be better than Boxer, and in fact at least Carly does, indeed, understand how to keep afloat a company. Recall that she did, indeed, keep HP afloat during hard times, alive to survive and grow. During that time she had the cojones to make the kinds of decisions that let it grow...it was her job. She did it.
I want those kinds of cojones as our Senator. I want someone who understands finance, and tax influences...I want Carly.
Posted by Chainsaw Chuck, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 2, 2010 at 10:24 pm
HP was stuck with aging products and aging workers. HP was at a place in time when a chainsaw was what was needed. Carly excelled in that roll. The share holders knew it and HP has survived. Now our government needs massive reductions and you all know it.
Barbara will be more of the same-old-tired ineffective government. Carly will not be the same old Barbara. And next election cycle if we don't like Carly we can fire her just like on 11-2-10 we will fire Barbara.
Posted by N. Bumppo, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Sep 3, 2010 at 4:01 pm
I'm an HP shareholder. Pre Carly the stock price was about $60 / share. Under Carly's leadership the stock price advanced to $16 / share (you could look it up). I submit that's not the kind of leadership the state needs...
Posted by Chris, a resident of the Fairmeadow neighborhood, on Sep 3, 2010 at 4:49 pm
I did look it up, but I cannot find your exact time points. Please provide. At no time when Fiorina was CEO did HP have a price of $60/share. In fact, despite all the dirty work she was required to do, the stock price rose, on average.
Posted by N Bumppo, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Sep 3, 2010 at 10:04 pm
Sure- glad to....check HPQ historical stock prices on Yahoo Finance
Pre Carly- sorry for any confusion, that means 'before Carly'
Closing stock price on July 1, 1999 was $100.50 / share
There was a 2:1 stock split on Oct 30, 2000, so if you had a share of stock on July 1, 1999, you now had 2 shares of stock worth $45.81/ea, times 2 that's $91.62.
On April 11 and 13, 2003, the closing stock price was $15.39 / share,
so your 2 shares are now worth $30.78...that's a 69% drop from your original $100.50 stake.
You're correct, the stock price did rise all the way to $21.53 on Feb 9, 2005, the day before she was fired by the Board of Directors. So if you held on to the stock till then, you only lost 57% of your original investment under Carly's tenure as CEO.
still don't think California needs that sort of demonstrated leadership...
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Sep 4, 2010 at 9:25 am
Hey Chainsaw Chuck--
I am no fan of Boxer, but to attribute the deficit as something that should vote her out of office is disingenuous. Sadly, there is plenty of blame to go around on the deficit, starting with GWB. Clinton left office with a surplus.
Posted by Taxpayer, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Sep 5, 2010 at 8:20 pm
I worked for HP for 20+ years in finance and I have a CPA. I suggest that the ideal CEO have a solid technical understanding of the products, a creative streak, a discilpined approach to spending and budgeting, and be a person who can communicate, is trusted and can lead by example. I don't think a CPA by itself indicates some one is CEO material.
Before Fiorina entered the political arena, Boxer was definitely one of my least favorite politicians. She has never shown the will power to balance the budget, promotes a foeign policy that works counter to US interests, and is a grand stander that takes credit for other folks hard work. But Boxer makes Fiorina look like Abraham Lincoln.
Fiorina is a natural politician. When she was fired by HP I predicted she would enter politics. She is a skilled manipulator, speaks well, and has no morals or consience. She is a perfect politician.
Fiorina is arrogant, insincere, and narcissictic. She was a horrible CEO and the employees hated her. HP was a strong, healthy, successful company when Fiorina was let in the door. Her lack of leadership, lack of knowledge, and managing by ego was driving the company in to ground. She was fired for severe incompetence and an inability to manage.
I am dumb founded that any sane person would vote for this incompetent, deceitful person. And to think we could have elected Tom Campbell. When I see results like this (Fiorina winning a senate race against Campbell), I realize why CA and the US are having so much trouble.
Posted by Taxpayer, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Sep 6, 2010 at 1:15 pm
"That is the attitude that I am talking about. HP dead wood really believes this myth. Carly did not. No wonder she was so hated at HP."
It is amusing to read posts from folks who were not able to make the grade at HP and were let go due to their incompetence. They hold a grudge and cheered for an incompetent like Fiorina as she ran the company in to ground. The fact that HP was #1 in almost every market (pre-Fiorina) they were competing in, had a high ROI, and consistently growing profits is ignored. The fact that the stock price was an a one way slide and didn't recover till Fiorina was fired for incompetency is overlooked.
It is OK if you can't deal with reality. The business world understands and tossed the incompetent Fiorina in to the trash. But she is perfect for folks who don't care about results and are easily deceived by a charlatan. I just hope there are enough rational folks in this state that can see through her arrogant BS and knock her out of this election.