By Peter Burrows
An insider's examine the inner turmoil at one of many world's most suitable high-tech companies
this is often the interior tale of Hewlett-Packard Company's fight to regain its former glory, and of the high-stakes conflict among CEO Carly Fiorina and relatives scion Walter Hewlett over how top to accomplish that target. for many years, HP was once popular not just for its cutting edge items and hovering inventory cost, yet for its egalitarian company tradition and father-knows-best integrity. Backfire explains how the corporate fell on difficult occasions, recounts the ancient determination that made Fiorina the world's top-ranking lady govt, and brings to existence the backlash that resulted while she attempted to impose her charismatic salesmanship at the getting older icon. most sensible BusinessWeek journalist Peter Burrows supplies the dramatic blow-by-blow of Hewlett's attempt to kill Fiorina's such a lot arguable circulate of all, her $19 billion buy of rival Compaq computing device. Fiorina received by way of a whisker, after the costliest proxy struggle in historical past and a dramatic lawsuit that accused the corporate of illegally solving the vote. This gripping, ongoing tale comprises attention-grabbing personalities and dramatic boardroom and court docket drama.
Peter Burrows (Alameda, CA) has been a expertise reporter for BusinessWeek for 9 years and has lined the HP saga from the beginning. the dep. editor for BusinessWeek's machine assurance, he has been the relevant chronicler of Fiorina's tenure at HP, and has written 3 conceal tales at the topic. He has additionally written quite a few different conceal tales, together with appears at Steve Jobs's Apple computing device and solar Microsystems' Scott McNealy.
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Additional info for Backfire: Carly Fiorina's High-Stakes Battle for the Soul of Hewlett-Packard
It is hard to imagine that she is just two generations removed from Texas ranchers. She was born with the name Cara Carleton Sneed—the ninth woman in her father’s family to be named Carleton, a tradition that started x B ac k f i r e x after all of the men by that name were killed during the Civil War. Explaining her name’s derivation in an interview with BusinessWeek, she apologized for her limited understanding of her family tree. “I can hear my Southern relatives just dying over my ruination of the genealogy,” Fiorina reflected.
13 She said in 2001 that the German philosopher Hegel had the most influence on her management beliefs. Hegel argued that the clash of opposites can result in inspired decisions— the so-called Hegelian dialectic: Thesis plus antithesis results in synthesis. But Hegel’s thinking, which has long been embraced by dictators, also supports the idea that some are born to lead and others to follow. Edwin Locke, who taught her in business school, was shocked to read of her admiration for Hegel. “Hegel doesn’t believe in reality, or logic, and does believe in dictatorship.
She was smart and confident and outspoken, all at once,” says ADC Telecommunications CEO Richard Roscitt, who came up through the AT&T system with Fiorina. “It didn’t matter who you were, once she made up her mind about something. ” She was very popular with her staffers, who were dubbed “Carly’s Angels,” and she was a sensitive people manager. Tony Bardo, one of her account managers, remembers coming in one day, depressed about a personal problem. In a flash, without his saying a word, she recognized his sadness and approached him.