New York Times reporter Brad Strong writes that this political season “might be called the Meg and Carly moment.”
According to Strong, Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina–the California Republican nominees for governor and senator, respectively—are “pitching the magic of Silicon Valley. They say they can bring the valley’s inventiveness and efficiencies to a government that is swamped by debt and partisan gridlock.”
Whitman certainly sang that tune in her primary victory speech Tuesday night, describing herself and Fiorina as “two businesswomen from the real world who know how to create jobs, balance budgets and get things done.”
Lovely image. However, in the case of Fiorina, it has about as much truth to it as BP’s previously self-proclaimed environmental stewardship. Yet it hasn’t stopped Fiorina from pushing the hype.
“I’m really proud of my record,” she told Fox News earlier this week, “and the good thing about business is the facts are clear.”
Indeed they are.
Here’s a fact for you, Portfolio magazine named Fiorina the “19th Worst CEO of All-Time”—placing her in the top 20 along with the likes of Dick Fuld, Ken Lay, Roger Smith and Bernie Ebbers. Why? Because her tenure as CEO of Hewlett Packard was a disaster.
The magazine described Fiorina as “a consummate self-promoter” who “paid herself handsome bonuses and perks while laying off thousands of employees to cut costs. The merger Fiorina orchestrated with Compaq in 2002 was widely seen as a failure. She was ousted in 2005.”
While promoting herself as a job creator, the reality is Fiorina proved much more adept as a jobs killer. In fact, she referred to offshoring as “right-shoring”, and fired at least 18,000 people. Fiorina told Fortune she “should have done them all faster."