By Craig Barrett, Former CEO of Intel
From The San Jose Mercury News
When the dot-com bubble burst in the late 1990s, a shock wave went through every high-tech board room in the U.S. CEOs were faced with critical decisions that would affect their companies’ future for years to come.
Under Carly Fiorina, Hewlett-Packard recognized that the computer industry needed consolidation and engineered the largest high-tech merger in history, combining HP and Compaq. There were plenty of skeptics to the bold actions taken by HP. But history has a way of straightening out the facts and the noted opinions of outside experts.
The merger of HP and Compaq was an unqualified success. It helped transform HP into the largest computer manufacturer in the world and provided a strong foundation for HP’s current success under its very capable management team.
Carly Fiorina, the architect of the HP-Compaq merger and now a candidate for U.S. Senate, deserves great credit for her actions while CEO of HP. She understood the challenges of the marketplace, the dangers of the status quo, and the need for companies to move forward with bold actions to ensure their success.
Today, HP is a stronger company because of Carly Fiorina’s bold action. Certainly some of this credit goes to current management, who capitalized on the changes Carly made. But it was Carly who shook up the status quo. She engineered the merger. She restructured the combined company. She positioned HP to gain market share, and she deserves credit for standing up to the naysayers and critics to achieve the positive end result.
In the current political campaign, many accusations have been leveled against her and her tenure at HP. As someone who knows the industry well and was there watching all the details, I have to respectfully disagree.
Carly Fiorina, who started her career as a receptionist and rose to be the first woman to run a Fortune 20 company, tackled the most difficult issues and brought exactly the right approach to a company that would have faced a more uncertain future otherwise. Despite what others might say, I suspect the two giants who started HP — who were in their own right daring, strong-willed and tenacious — would approve.
To read the entire article, please visit: http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_14819426