Ousted CEO of Hewlett Packard Carly Fiorina has become John McCain's poster child both for winning over women voters and bolstering his (nonexistent) economic credentials. There's even a lot of speculation on Carly as McCain's VEEP choice. But is this really a sound choice or is Fiorina the face of Cheney, Part Deux?
Let's take a peek at her record....
In 1999, Fiorina took over Hewlett-Packard, the troubled computer company, becoming one of the top women in Corporate America. Previously, she had built a successful career mostly in marketing and sales at AT&T and Lucent, but she had the not-so-good fortune to be taking the helm of an engineering-driven tech company as the tech boom was ending. There she presided over dubious acquisitions, massive layoffs, spying on rivals and employees, secretive business practices and even when fired, still walked away with a jaw-dropping $21 million farewell (don't-let-the-door-hit-you-in-the-*ss) package.
Like Cheney, Fiorina's name has become synonymous with corporate greed. She also shares some of the same ole Cheney charm, too. When the outsourcing of jobs turned into a national political issue, Fiorina rose to the forefront of an industry campaign aimed at blocking any legislation that would restrict a company's ability to can American employees in favor of workers overseas. She and executives from seven other tech companies issued a report that argued that any such measures would hurt the U.S. economy. The best way to increase American competitiveness, they declared, was to improve schools and, yes, reduce corporate taxes. At a Washington press conference, Fiorina uttered the now infamous comment: "There is no job that is America's God-given right anymore."
The day she was fired from HP, the company's stock price rose 7 percent. As Robert Cihra, an analyst with Fulcrum Global Partners told Money magazine, "The stock is up a bit on the fact that nobody liked Carly's leadership all that much. The Street had lost all faith in her and the market's hope is that anyone will be better."
For more on Fiorina's exploits as a corporate diva, check out Business Week's review of her tenure.