Group 3 Case Analysis: The Rise and fall of Carly Fiorina
Carleton Fiorina was once renowned as one of the greatest and most innovative CEO’s of our time. She was brought into Hewlett Packard (HP) in 1999 as their new CEO and instantly recognizable for her “charisma, visibility, and aggressiveness” (Robbins & Judge, 2007, p. 138). She came to the company with a promising background as a star executive at Lucent technologies-AT&T, where she was revered as a primary change agent and a visionary leader that was able to move the company into modern times (Burrows, 1999). This was similar to the goals of HP was trying to accomplish when they hired her, but under her leadership profits did not increase and she failed to meet their goals. She fought the board for a merger with Compaq and won, scarcely, by a majority vote, and unfortunately, this controversial acquisition never paid off. After her performance failed to meet all of its hype, the board sought to rein in some of her power and take more control over her management. Fiorina refused to change her ways and was terminated shortly after.
Fiorina’s management style and personality are often cited as two attributes that ultimately lead to her downfall (Markoff, 2005). Some criticized her for spending too much time on the road motivating employees at pep rally type functions, complete with rock star light shows and celebrity appearances. Many also accused her of caring too much about the razzle dazzle and her own celebrity status and not spending enough time within the company to actually implement the strategies that she was promoting (Markoff, 2005). Many who worked for the brand claim that the CEO was never very well received in HP culture and these employees definitely did not appreciate her high-profile ways and cut-throat methods. She also was one of the first CEO’s in HP that was not hired from within and who held a sales and marketing background as opposed to one of
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