On the subject of Carly Fiorina

People in Silicon Valley have extraordinarily little respect for Carly Fiorina–the judgment is that she is very good at selling herself to people who haven’t been inoculated, but very bad at doing anything else.

Politics is the correct profession for her then.

31 thoughts on “On the subject of Carly Fiorina”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    When she took over HP it had about 85,000 employees. She laid off 30,000 of them.

    You know, if she brings those sort of skills to the White House when dealing with the civil service, she could be a winner.

    (Although actually she would be more likely to merge the US with Sudan and then drive millions of people out as refugees into Canada)

  2. Interesting how in US politics it’s actually a significant handicap to have actually done something. Obama was onto a winner never having tried anything other than running for president.

  3. David Moore – yes, he was good at that.

    Being president, not so much…

    Dear Carly, the woman who turned a large computer company into brown sauce.

  4. @ David Moore

    Not entirely. State Governors have become the most popular ‘talent’ pool for presidential candidates as voters seem to like people with some high level governing experience.

    Unfortunately for the Republican field this cycles crop of governors have some handicaps. Perry is dim and under indictment, Christie is spectacularly fat and under indictment, Walker was a beady eyed little goitre and Jindal looks weird and was and performed exorcisms in college. Bush seems to be the safe choice but he seems to be determined to meet his weekly gaffe quota.

  5. @SMFS Laying off 30,000 is presumably only to be admired if it was the right 30,000. Anyone can fire people – the skill lies in the selection.
    Maybe if she’d kept around some of the more technically capable staff they could have bought her up to speed on concepts such as domain names… 🙂 http://carlyfiorina.org/

  6. O/t Tim, but Ritchie is getting the piss ripped out of him in David Cameron’s conference speech:

    “On the Joy of Tax: I took it home to Samantha. It’s got 64 positions and none of them work”

  7. @Dan,

    Yes, it’s currently Dem policy to put governers under indictment if they are potential R Presidential candidates with a chance.

    It’s a variant of “Lawfare”.

  8. What abacab says re indictments.
    Also, HP was in a serious mess before CF took it over.
    However, I agree with ITboy; her layoff tactics were poor (Apple set the Valley gold standard back in the 80s).

  9. I like the U.S. system of electing presidents. It tests candidates to destruction and leaves the strongest standing.

    I am not a fan of Barack Obama. However, before he beat Republicans with the help of the MSM yadda yadda, he took out the Democrats media darling Hillary Clinton. By contrast he looked and sounded a very poor substitute for Bill Clinton.

    Sorry folks, but he won more than fair and square.

  10. JeremyT,

    “Also, HP was in a serious mess before CF took it over.”

    You just have to look at the post-Carly era. Mark Hurd took over, they fired him, despite doing nothing wrong. Hired Leo Apotheker. Useless.

    I’m trying to think of a single damn thing that HP did since the HP Laserjet 4 that was interesting, that showed someone in that company wasn’t just jumping on a bandwagon and producing what everyone else was making but with an HP sticker. They can’t even buy a company like Palm for a billion dollars without failing to do anything with it.

  11. The Stigler,
    I agree, nothing interesting after the Laserjet (and even that used Canon components). By the 80s it was a conglomerate trying unsuccessfully to compete with scores of point product vendors. TBF, the big Japanese congos also failed.

  12. Bloke no longer in Austria

    So let me get this straight about HP….

    First of all they employed Carly Simon and she sacked everyone, but the board thought she was useless ( probably couldn’t reconcile her singing career with being CEO) and sacked her.
    She was replaced by Douglas Hurd, but he was sacked after having an affair with Jodie Foster (kudos!) and fiddling his expenses to hide it.

    He in turn was replaced by Leo Sayer, but he was only interim and now they have Slim Whitman in charge who has split the company into its component parts: fruity and brown sauces.

    Does not sound like a recipe for corporate success.

  13. Ironman,

    > I like the U.S. system of electing presidents. It tests candidates to destruction and leaves the strongest standing.

    Yes, but it takes far too bloody long, though. They effectively have no president for one year in four.

    Hang on, what am I talking about? What I mean is:

    Yes, and it also takes a good long time. They effectively have no president for one year in four. Brilliant!

  14. @S2 – Yer out of date – the Presidential cycle is now at least 18 months long. Our American chums desire to turn politics into a showbizzy, WWE style Smackdown continues apace.

    But on the other hand I’m rather seeing enjoying Donald Trump smack around these mooks.

  15. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Hewlett Packard make wicked awesome RF test gear. Their vector network analysers are superb and I once saw a spectrum analyser dragged off a bench by the test leads and land on its front panel. The rubberised shroud round the display meant it didn’t get a scratch. Their HP 9000 PA-RISC workstations were kick ass (that’s where I really learnt C++ and SVR4 systems programming). I got a very good colour laser printer with WiFi and 100BASE-T built in for $180.

    On the other hand, the HP laptop I had died after six months because they didn’t heatsink the GPU adequately. By contrast, my seven year old Macbook still works flawlessly. Never buying a consumer-grade computer from them ever again.

  16. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Yeah, I haven’t been in the RF engineering bizzo for nigh on twenty years. Agilent still make great kit.

  17. @BiCR “Their HP 9000 PA-RISC workstations were kick ass”

    I was actually toying with the idea of picking one of those up. We have to find a replacement for x86 somewhere, right?

  18. Bloke in Costa Rica

    In 1993 it was a beast of a machine. I suspect it is rather less powerful than my Raspberry Pi these days.

  19. Bloke no longer in Austria

    Do HP still make UNIX machines, I wonder?
    HP-UX was a great version of SystemV. Nearly as good as the one we developed at Siemens.

    And yes their protocol analysers were ace, dug me out of so many holes when comms was a “man’s game” before all this router nonsense.

  20. I was about to respond to BiCR about Agilent, although I wasn’t sure if RF stuff went to them – thanks for sparing me the effort. I think that spin-off / split-up really did HP in – they never seemed to get their mojo back after spinning off the historic heart of the company.

  21. HP-UX was a great version of SystemV.

    It was ok, once you had taken the time to install the full suite of GNU tools…

  22. Bloke in Costa Rica

    BnliA: yes of course HP still make Unix machines, inasmuch as a healthy proportion of all the ProLiants they sell will end up running Linux. As for HP-UX, their big iron stuff (like the half million dollar Superdome monsters with PA-RISC and Itanium) will still run it although for how much longer remains to be seen (Itanium is a white elephant).

    HP-UX was good, but it wasn’t POSIX or completely SVR4-compliant, which caused wailing and gnashing of teeth in the days before StackExchange. I had the O’Reilly SVR4 lion book which had a lot of sections along the lines of “on Solaris, do this; on HP-UX, do this”. Bloody nuisance, especially not having POSIX signals.

  23. So Much For Subtlety

    Squander Two – “HP printers won’t print in black-and-white when they run out of coloured ink.”

    That’s racist! I believe the acceptable term is “ink of colour”

  24. HP-UX bah, get into a real UNIX, use AIX, and get power chips with it !

    I would think that anyone but a totally biased partisan would have a problem with Perry’s indictment, as he’s charged with vetoing a bill; something explicitly permitted in the Texas constitution. Plus the fact that the prosecutor trying to push this was caught drink-driving and used her position to weasel out of it and yet refuses to resign (and is of course a Democrat). Perry’s also not “dim”, though he’s not having much impact, so politically in the presidential stakes he’s politically dim perhaps.

    As for Obama, the truly great thing he has in his favour is a national media prepared to straight up lie for him at all times. One can still see repeated frequently (just this week in Ars Technica for example) the “facts” that he was editor of the Harvard Law Review and a Constitutional Law Professor. In reality he was neither, he was President of the HLR which is an elected titular position (and Obama still remains the ONLY PoHLR to NOT publish an article in said Review), and he was an adjunct professor (read inferior grade lecturer) lecturing on “Blacks and the Law” which is code speak for a content-free whine-fest of a lecture.

  25. “HP printers won’t print in black-and-white when they run out of coloured ink.”

    Our work printer (HP 8600 all-in-one) does. It asks whether you wish to continue in greyscale. There is also an option of printing in greyscale at any time.

    It has been a cracking small office printer and I rather wish I’d picked one up for myself.

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