It’s always easier to see things in hindsight, but former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina’s decision to merge the company with personal computer maker Compaq in 2002 even at the time struck many as not much of a forward-thinking move.
Fast forward to 2011. After one bad move after another over the years, HP announced last week that it was going to spin the PC business off, kill its tablet and smartphone initiatives, and spend a lot of money buying a data analysis business.
HP was once a company that stood for innovation, and so when Fiorina proposed the merger, it didn’t seem like a particularly bold bet on the future. Today, the company has lost so much of its value that many financial analysts and investors see it as a take-over target to be scavenged for its parts.Earlier this week, Bloomberg interviewed Fiorina on camera in their San Francisco bureau, and the thing that is immediately evident is Fiorina’s defensiveness.
She begins by launching into a curious defense of HP, saying that she sees a “company that has built a hugely successful PC business — the number one PC business in the world in terms of revenue, market share, profitability.”
If its PC business were so great, HP wouldn’t likely be trying to dump it. Fiorina goes on to make a series of points that are often contradictory.
As you’ll see, the whole interview is just fascinating: