Remember Carly Fiorina? Sure you do. It you’re a solution provider, surely you have vivid memories of her tenure as CEO of HP, when the company seemed bent on competing with VARs on even the smallest deals thinkable.
When Fiorina was shown the door in 2005, let’s just say not too many channel partners were pulling out handkerchiefs. And, one presumes, not too many HP employees either. Well, at least not the thousands she laid off.
Fiorina held so much promise when she took the reins at HP in 1999, but then the economy went south, the tech industry took a huge hit, and Dell’s direct model appeared invincible.
Then came HP’s Compaq acquisition, which was followed by several years of inconsistent quarterly results, during which Fiorina’s star dimmed. Indeed, when she left HP, it was as fallen star. The benefits of the Compaq merger were questionable, the company’s vision was blurry and the stock was worth less than when Fiorina took over.
By most objective accounts, Fiorina‘s record as a CEO was decidedly less than stellar. Unless you take into account the $21 million severance she walked out with, calling her tenure a success might be a stretch.
So, then, why would a presidential candidate take advice from her? Wouldn’t you want to surround yourself with successful people with proven track records?
Apparently not, if you’re John McCain. Not only is Fiorina a campaign economic adviser, she is often making stump appearances for the Republican candidate. And now word is out that she may be a vice president contender.
According to Politico.com, Fiorina is one of three women who may be considered for the veep slot. Presumably, if McCain picked a woman as a running mate, female supporters of Hillary Clinton’s failed primary bid would flock to the Republican candidate, never mind his stance on potential Supreme Court nominees.
Come to think of it, what is his stance? In February he was praising Still-President Bush nominees Alito and Roberts, but just the other day he reportedly was hyping his support of Clinton appointees Ginsberg and Breyer. Not coincidentally, Fiorina also has gone out of her way to praise Hillary Clinton, even expressing empathy for “what she went through.”
Ah, don’t you love politics?
But what should we expect should Fiorina become McCain’s running mate? Is she going to push for a merger with China a la HP/Compaq? Should we expect her to remind us there is no God-given right to employment in the United States the next time the country’s unemployment figures go up?
Or should we just expect Fiorina to push to cut out the middleman, as she attempted to do with the channel, and argue to put government in the hands of corporate boardrooms since they already have so much sway in Washington, anyway?