Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Ponders Presidential Bid

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said she may consider throwing her hat into the ring as a Republican presidential candidate in 2016, which would open up her six-year record at the helm of Hewlett-Packard to closer inspection.

When asked by NBC's "Meet The Press" Host Chuck Todd Sunday how serious she was about running for president, Fiorina replied: "That'll be something I consider at the right time."

"When people ask you over and over again, you have to pause and reflect," continued Fiorina, a regular panelist on "Meet The Press." "So I'll pause and reflect at the right time."

[Related: CRN Exclusive: CEO Meg Whitman On Everything You Need To Know About HP's Split ]

Sponsored post

A presidential run by Fiorina, who was HP CEO from July 1999 to February 2005, could shine the spotlight once again on the bitter shareholder dispute that pitted Fiorina against the families of legendary HP Co-Founders William Hewlett and Dave Packard. The $22 billion merger of HP and Compaq was approved under Fiorina's leadership in 2002 in a bitter proxy fight by a slim 2.8 percentage point margin.

The CEO for a Hewlett-Packard enterprise solution provider, who has teamed with HP for the past 20 years, said the merger of HP and Compaq stands as one of Fiorina's finest moments.

"The merger of HP and Compaq was brilliant," said the CEO, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "The Compaq sales force was hungry, young and ambitious. The HP sales force was stodgy, older and set in their ways. It was a really nice meld of the two companies."

As far as Fiorina's management style, the CEO said Fiorina was viewed both internally and externally as a strong marketer that did not have a solid grasp on day-to-day operations of the HP business units or the company's future technology direction.

HP's board of directors, in fact, proposed a plan to shift authority to business unit chiefs, which Fiorina opposed. That ultimately led to her departure as HP Chairman and CEO in February 2005.

The management styles of Fiorina and current CEO Meg Whitman could not be more different, said the CEO.
"Carly was all about Carly and doing what was right for Carly," said the CEO. "Meg is all about doing what is right for the company. Meg is all about collaboration. Carly was all about command and control."

The CEO said that Whitman has brought back the innovation spark that characterized HP from its founding in a garage 75 years ago in Silicon Valley.
"Meg has championed a lot of the ideas of Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard," said the CEO. "They took care of customers and employees. It was about doing the right thing. She has helped restore the HP legacy."

Fiorina's last political battle came when she made an unsuccessful run as the California Republican nominee for the United States Senate in 2010. Whitman herself made an unsuccessful bid for public office as the California Republican nominee for Governor of California in 2010, before taking the HP top job in September 2011.