Is Your Business Harboring Rogues?
• Fiorina was insensitive. "When people whispered, she didn't hear," wrote management guru Erik Gordon of Johns Hopkins University. "When people tried to give her advice, she ignored them. When people started to shout, she put her hands over her ears and screamed 'na-na, na-na, na-naah.'"
• The granddaughter of Hewlett-Packard co-founder David Packard, who had a long running feud with Fiorina, wrote in a letter to three politicians who supported Fiorina's 2010 run for the Senate in California:
I know a little bit about Carly Fiorina, having watched her almost destroy the company my grandfather founded. So, allow me to disillusion you of a few of your stated reasons for supporting her. Most business commentators consider Fiorina's tenure at HP to be a disaster. The stock price dropped by 50% only to rally 10% on the announcement of her firing. She fired 28,000 people before she herself was fired, departing with the $21 million golden parachute that is financing her campaign.
Portfolio magazine labeled Carly Fiorina the 19th worst CEO in American history.
P.S. Ex-CEO Carly Fiorina left behind a mess for the new CEO, Meg Whitman. From the Aug. 24, 2012 New York Times:
Between Tuesday morning and the close of trading on Thursday, H.P. lost some $4.8 billion in market capitalization, which in its current state was about 12 percent of H.P.’s total value. Since February, the company’s stock market value has fallen 41 percent.
Takeaways to Consider
- Do you sometimes wonder if strange goings-on in the next office on an upper floor by hotshots—who in reality don't know squat—could bring down your business?
- For starters a business model based entirely on customers that cannot pay their bills is nuts.
- As a study in rogue management, check out "Carly Fiorina's Seven Deadly Sins" by Forbes magazine publisher Rich Karlgaard.
- Always test—and back test. That is, never roll out an offer or an unproven business model without continually re-testing the old, successful one against it.
- In my first 12 years in business I had nine jobs and was fired from five of them. Check out one case history of mine, "I Was Peter Possum." It broke my heart.