Posted on

Crash of Carly Fiorina

Hewlett Packard ( HP ) is a engineering company that operates in more than 170 states around the universe. HP was founded in 1939 by Stanford University classmates Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. The company ‘s first merchandise, built in a Palo Alto garage ( the HP Garage is California Historic Landmark No. 976 – Birthplace of Silicon Valley ) was an audio oscillator-an electronic trial instrument used by sound applied scientists. One of HP ‘s first clients was Walt Disney Studios, which purchased eight oscillators to develop and prove an advanced sound system for the film Fantasia ( About United states: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. , 2009 ) .

Fast frontward 60 old ages to 1999 their corporate central offices still remains in Palo Alto, California and they are among the universe ‘s largest information engineering companies, with gross numbering $ 118.4 billion for the financial twelvemonth 2008. In 1999 they named Carly Fiorina as their CEO wining Lewis Platt. Fiorina became the first adult female to take a fortune 500 company ( Mooney, 2009 ) .

It was n’t excessively long after Fiorina was appointed Chief executive officer that she made several large errors finally ensuing in her death. There are many lending factors that can explicate her autumn from corporate America these include: Fiorina ‘s deficiency of operational accomplishments, gender prejudice, market conditions, and fractious employees. The narrative of Carly Fiorina is a prophylactic narrative, exposing non merely Fiorina ‘s ethical defects but besides the HP board members. ( Johnson, 2008 ) .

From the really get downing it appears as though the place as CEO of HP was ne’er a good tantrum for Fiorina. She had ne’er run a corporation and her expertness lied in gross revenues non in operations. Her calling started at AT & A ; T as a low degree director in gross revenues working her manner up the ranks ; pulling the attending of top direction. She finally became president of North America gross revenues and would travel on to be caput of Lucent Technologies gross revenues and selling group. During her term of office the company ‘s net incomes and stock value grew significantly.

Stephen P. Robbins and Timothy A. Judge discuss personality-job tantrum theory in their Necessities of Organizational Behavior text edition. Their person-organization tantrum basically argues that people leave organisations non compatible with their personalities. Research besides looks at a individual ‘s values and whether they match an organisation ‘s civilization. The tantrum of employee ‘s values with the civilization of their organisation predict occupation satisfaction, committedness to the organisation, and low turnover ( Robbins & A ; Judge, 2008 ) .

The text would propose that Fiorina ‘s personality clashed with the employees who at the clip made up the organisation. Fiorina is a really strong willed individual who enjoyed the spotlight, flashiness and glam that went along with the place as Chief executive officer. She was media understanding, starred in the company commercials, on a regular basis attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and was normally seen on the screen of concern magazines ; antonym of her predecessors.

In the beginning, the employees found this new energy refreshing and adult females looked to her as their function theoretical account but shortly found a small spot of Fiorina went a long manner. She came on excessively strong excessively fast and made more enemies than Alliess. The company civilization was non one that embraced Fiorina ‘s harsh, cutthroat, to the point manner of making concern. This was non the manner they were used to making concern. Prior to Fiorina ‘s term of office things were more about the people and non about the Numberss. This did n’t count to Fiorina if employees did n’t encompass her alterations she was doing or run into your Numberss for the one-fourth she had no job demoing employees the door.

Fiorina blamed the HP manner for being the chief ground for their unsatisfactory public presentation. She was non opposed to taking those who resisted alteration. She felt that maintaining those around cleaving to the yesteryear were risk factors to HP. ( Johnson, 2008 ) . She would n’t believe twice approximately naming an employee at 5:00 a.m. to hold a phone conference with them to allow them cognize they did n’t do their Numberss and were fired.

The three major alterations she made that mostly impacted the company ‘s civilization was to do a displacement from fostering employees to concentrating on fiscal public presentation. Under her leading the primary value became fiscal consequences. Her 2nd major alteration was changing the wages prosodies. Fiorina replaced HP ‘s net income sharing program with an incentive plan designed to honor all employees based on whether HP met their fiscal ends set for the twelvemonth. The sales representative who were salaried would now work on a committee base system. To forestall gross revenues people from “ coasting ” until the last one-fourth committees were merely handed out twice a twelvemonth. Her 3rd alteration was to reconstitute the concern units within the organisation. She drastically reduced them from 80 three to four units. The new restructure consisted of two front end units and two back terminal units. The front terminal units targeted consumers while the back terminal was fabricating the merchandises HP made. ( Johnson, 2008 ) .

Merely over a twelvemonth of her fall ining HP as CEO her predecessors Lew Platt who had stayed on to rede and ease her passage and Richard Hagborn, laminitis of HP ‘s pressman concern, at the clip moving as board of chair both left complaining that she would non listen. Her biggest protagonist at first, Hagborn would turn progressively concerned about Fiorina ‘s defects and subsequently worked to take her ( Johnson, 2008 ) .

In 2001 company cutbacks marked a important downswing in the relationship between Fiorina and her work force. A study of 8,000 employees revealed widespread sadness about hapless communicating and ill implemented determinations. This was a complete reversal of earlier studies, which found that HP had some of the employee satisfaction tonss in corporate America.

Low morale and employee dissatisfaction is blamed on Fiorina ‘s personality and direction by ambush manner. In 2002 employees took active opposition when Fiorina launched amalgamation negotiations with Compaq. Fiorina received opposition non merely from her employees but from shareholders who besides opposed unifying with Compaq. After the amalgamation with Compaq one critic further grounded her image as a visually pleasing, but “ airheaded ” cheerleader ( Norander, 2008 ) :

She is a authoritative foreman for our clip: superb plenty to daze the old work forces on the board… and the immature technicians… but devoid of the imaginativeness, humbleness and empathy that are the trademarks of true leaders ( Norander, 2008 ) .

Fiorina may hold been under force per unit area to win as the most powerful adult female CEO in America but it still does non pardon her neglect to the stockholders and employee sentiments by classically exposing an over assurance prejudice sing the amalgamation and continued to travel frontward with her useful attack in her determination devising. Employee morale continued to drop and the CEO and her board clashed over assignments to head divisions of the company, plans for farther reorganisation, and suggestions that she hire a main operating officer. Issues came to a caput in the 3rd one-fourth when the company severely underhung net incomes projections and it looked like Fiorina was giving others to cover for her errors.

Harmonizing to Johnson, “ deficiency of humbleness may good be the individual most of import subscriber to Fiorina ‘s autumn from power in 2005. ” “ Her promotion attempts, including her visual aspect in HP commercials, seemed to advance “ Carly ” more than HP. Furthermore, she failed to show realistic self-appraisal, openness to new thoughts, or a sense of transcendency. ” “ Fiorina was highly confident in her abilities. ” “ For illustration, she rejected board suggestions that she hire a main operating officer, stating at one point that “ a Chief executive officer had better hold his or her custodies on the wheel. ” ” “ Her refusal to inquire for aid was a cardinal factor in the board ‘s determination to fire her. ” “ A top-down communicating manner discouraged feedback and devalued the input of employees. ” “ Until the terminal, she seemed to believe that the destiny of HP rested wholly on her shoulders. ” “ She seemingly made no attempt to prepare a replacement and drove a figure of gifted executives off, including many from Compaq ( Johnson, 2008 ) . ”

Organizations and executives likewise can larn from HP ‘s and Fiorina ‘s errors. There is after all a Ag liner to every cloud. Fiorina ‘s errors cost HP greatly. However, they learned a good lesson and taught other organisations non to follow in their same footfalls. Hopefully this bad person-organization tantrum state of affairs will forestall history from reiterating itself and forestall the company and other organisations from engaging another “ Carly. ” By using the basic constructs of organisational behaviour employers and organisations should ne’er be faced with the same state of affairs.


  • About Us: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. ( 2009, November 29 ) Retrieved November 29, 2009, from HP Official Web site: hypertext transfer protocol: // .
  • Johnson, C. ( 2008 ) The Rise and Fall of Carly Fiorina: An Ethical Case Study. Journal of Leadership & A ; Organizational Studies ( Sage Publications Inc. ) , 188-196.
  • Mooney, C. T. ( 2009, November 4 ) . Fiorina jumps into high-profile Senate race. Retrieved November 29, 2009, from CNN Politicss: hypertext transfer protocol: // .
  • Norander, S. ( 2008 ) . Surveillance/Discipline/Reistance: Carly Fiorina underthe Gaze of the Wall Street Journal. Routledge Taylor & A ; Francis Group, 99-113.
  • Robbins, S. P. , & A ; Judge, T. A. ( 2008 ) Necessities of Organizational Behavior. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.