February 9, 2005 10:51 AM PST

Fiorina's tenure in quotes

Carly Fiorina presided over Hewlett-Packard through turbulent times, including the company's acquisition of Compaq Computer in 2001, a bitter legal battle with the Hewlett family, a failed bid for PriceWaterhouseCoopers in 2000 and problems articulating HP's strategy, among other struggles.

Here are some notable comments from Fiorina and HP watchers over the past six years.

Progress reports

• "I think it's good, as the stock is showing. She has adequate respect for HP's past but also clearly the aggressiveness to invigorate the company and bring some new ideas."
--Merrill Lynch financial analyst Steve Milunovich on Fiorina's appointment to succeed Lew Platt, July 19, 1999

•  "Urgency and speed are...things that everyone agrees" Hewlett-Packard needs.
--Fiorina, July 19, 1999

• "She's done a great job. They've had perfect execution. Everybody set pretty high expectations for her, and she's exceeded those expectations."
--IDC analyst Roger Kay on Fiorina's performance, Sept. 22, 2000

• I'm "very disappointed that we missed our (earnings per share) growth target this quarter due to the confluence of a number of issues that we now understand and are urgently addressing. I accept full responsibility for the shortfall."
--Fiorina, Nov. 13, 2000

• "In the early summer of 1999, when we were interviewing Carly (for the CEO post), we discussed (that) it would take a minimum of three years to turn things around and there would be lots of ups and downs. We are absolutely behind her and know there will be challenges."
--George Keyworth II, an HP director, on Fiorina's appointment, Sept. 3, 2001

On the Compaq merger

• "This is a decisive move that accelerates our strategy and positions us to win by offering even greater value to our customers and partners. In addition to the clear strategic benefits of combining two highly complementary organizations and product families, we can create substantial shareowner value through significant cost-structure improvements and access to new growth opportunities."
--Fiorina, following the launch of the merger effort, Sept. 3, 2001

• "After careful deliberation, consultation with my financial adviser and consideration of developments since the announcement of the merger, I have decided to vote against the transaction. I believe that Hewlett-Packard can create greater value for stockholders as a stand-alone company than as a company combined with Compaq."
--Walter Hewlett, Nov. 6, 2001

• "It's now time for all of us--those who supported the merger and those who opposed it--to pull together for the benefit of the company."
--Fiorina, following shareholder approval of the merger, March 19, 2002

• "We have not had a very good economy, and we're not seeing any net results from this merger that are conspicuous. The company has maintained its position in the industry and has been successful with its budget, but there is nothing booming with its business."
--Roy Papp, founder and partner with HP investor L. Roy Papp Associates, May 1, 2003

• "This was a great quarter. By any measure, we hit our stride and demonstrated what the merger was all about."
--Fiorina, Nov. 19, 2003

• "We cannot say every step has been perfect, but we can say with confidence today we are where we intended to be."
--Fiorina, regarding HP's progress since the buyout, June 8, 2004

Slippery strategy

• "There is some confusion because we only recently began our marketing. We're in an era were people need to think about business processes and applications horizontally...We need to think of the enterprise not as an island of stand-alone technology."
--Fiorina, on confusion surrounding HP's Adaptive Enterprise strategy, which she termed an "end state" for a customer, Oct. 21, 2003

Industry turbulence

• "Essentially, we're looking for something that can convince us that HP can show consistent growth--but we have concerns. Outside of its printing business, HP tends to be more follower than leader."
--Bear Stearns analyst Andy Neff, Dec. 8, 2003

• "This is not a company stuck. This is a company that leads in virtually every category in which we compete."
--Fiorina, in reaction to criticism of HP's strategy, Dec. 10, 2003

• "Although HP has significant technology assets and a substantial base of stable, profitable revenue from both its printing and supplies segments, these positives appear all but offset by ongoing pressure from increased competition, commoditization, execution challenges and lack of strategic focus."
--Melanie Hollands, president of hedge fund firm Koala Capital, May 20, 2003

• "Although we are satisfied with our performance in personal systems, imaging and printing, software, and services, these solid results were overshadowed by unacceptable execution in enterprise servers and storage. We therefore are making immediate management changes. We are also accelerating our margin improvement plans in this business."
--Fiorina, Aug. 12, 2004

• "I think the dot-com boom and bust represented the end of the beginning. The industry is more mature today."
--Fiorina, Sept. 23, 2004

Abrupt ending

• "While the board did discuss structural changes at its recent meeting, there are no other senior changes due in the near future."
--HP spokesman Robert Sherbin on whether the company planned to redistribute some of Fiorina's day-to-day responsibilities, Jan. 24, 2005

• "I know she's been under a certain amount of criticism, but (this) is somewhat unexpected. I believed her when she said she had an excellent relationship with the board."
--Walter Hewlett, former HP director and son of company co-founder, Feb. 9, 2005

• "While I regret the board and I have differences about how to execute HP's strategy, I respect their decision."
--Fiorina resigns, Feb. 9, 2005

 

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