Hp - Carly Fiorina Leadership

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, William Reddington Hewlett Pages: 6 (1626 words) Published: July 11, 2010
Carly Fiorina: Is she Helping or Hurting HP?

A Leadership Analysis presented to Dr. Walter Makovoz of National University

In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business Administration

table of contents

Carly Fiorina: Is she Helping or Hurting HP?1
table of contents2
disruptive innovation6
The HP – Compaq Merger7


This paper will show how one CEO took her own leadership style and completely transformed a company. Carly Fiorina’s strategies for the success of computer giant, Hewlett Packard, has faced much criticism. Organizational change, specifically to the management of the company’s corporate culture, has brought about much of the criticism. In the paper we will look at the leadership style of Carly Fiorina, details of the HP-Compaq merger and the effects of the merger, further changes in HP strategy, and finally, provide recommendations.


In 1999, Carly Fiorina accepted the position of CEO of Hewlett Packard. The challenge for Fiorina was to help the company grow in the Internet Age without eliminating the very things that had brought the company to where it is now; the corporate culture of Hewlett Packard. In accepting the position, Fiorina became the first woman to head a DOW 30 company and the first outsider to take control of HP.

Hewlett Packard is a computer company that sells everything from $25 ink cartridges to million dollar supercomputers. Bill Hewett and Dave Packard founded the company in 1937 in 1937. By 2001, the company had over 85,000 employees and operations in 120 countries.

During the 1980s and 1990s, companies began to downsize, while Hewlett Packard continued to offer their employees job security. The following extract, from the company’s Corporate Objectives (1995), illustrates the main values underpinning the HP Way. ‘Our People’

• To help HP people share in the company's success, which they make possible. • To provide job security based on performance..4
• To recognize their individual achievements.
• To help them gain a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment from their work. • Relationships within the company depend upon a spirit of cooperation among both individuals and groups, and an attitude of trust and understanding on the part of the managers towards heir people. These relationships will be good only if employees have faith in the motives and integrity of their peers, supervisors and the company itself. • Job security is an important HP objective ... the company has achieved a steady growth in employment by consistently developing good new products, and by avoiding the type of contract business that requires hiring many people, then terminating them when the contract expires. • To foster initiative and creativity by allowing the individual great freedom of action in attaining well-defined objectives. • Insofar as possible, each individual at each level in the organization should make his or her own plans to achieve company objectives and goals. After receiving supervisory approval, each individual should be given a wide degree of freedom to work within the limitations imposed by these plans, and by our corporate policies.

Although Fiorina possesses a leadership style and strategic vision that has contributed to the success of previous companies that she held leadership positions in, HP wasn’t ready for the organizational change she thought would be necessary for the future of HP.


Fiorina first showed her unique style of leadership when her company, Lucent, was spun off from AT&T. The night before the company was to go public, she stayed up all night to make sure the stock offering was perfect. She also offered her personal support to a fellow executive when his wife was ill. Fiorina made sure the couple received medical advice, doctors, and emotional...

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