By Peter Burrows
An insider's examine the inner turmoil at one of many world's preferable 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 kin scion Walter Hewlett over how most sensible to accomplish that objective. for many years, HP was once widespread not just for its leading edge items and hovering inventory fee, yet for its egalitarian company tradition and father-knows-best integrity. Backfire explains how the corporate fell on tough occasions, recounts the ancient selection that made Fiorina the world's top-ranking woman govt, and brings to lifestyles 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 gained through a whisker, after the costliest proxy struggle in heritage 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 insurance, he has been the central chronicler of Fiorina's tenure at HP, and has written 3 hide tales at the topic. He has additionally written a number of different disguise tales, together with seems to be at Steve Jobs's Apple machine and sunlight Microsystems' Scott McNealy.
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Additional resources for Backfire: Carly Fiorina's High-Stakes Battle for the Soul of Hewlett-Packard
It was an epiphany for me. In that instant, the headaches literally disappeared. I got out of the shower. ” Fiorina later said, “It was a tough conversation. ” After dropping out, she took a tiny off-campus apartment at Stanford and spent much of her time with Bartlem at Casa Italiana, where Ann Baskins, now HP’s chief counsel, also lived. Fiorina learned Italian—a skill that would help her land business in that country in the years ahead. Perhaps Fiorina’s first taste of business came when she worked for real estate broker Marcus & Millichap for a few months that year.
Wach, who had just joined the integration team itself, was even more pessimistic about that part of the company than the value capture updates indicated. He sent his report to Wayman on March 10, along with a note that said: “The attached is a frightening reality check . . I see little realistic upside 19 x B ac k f i r e x and I am not alone. . ” The reality, Neal argued, was that Fiorina knew HP’s merger plan was falling off course fast. 65. 23, according to the Clarke email. 37 most analysts figured HP could have posted that year without buying Compaq.
Madelon, the daughter of an assembly-line worker in Toledo, had left an unhappy home to join the Women’s Army Corps. Her mother had died when she was a child, leaving her in the care of an extended family. “My mother had a series of stepmothers who didn’t 29 x B ac k f i r e x think much of developing girls and a father who wouldn’t pay for her college tuition,” Fiorina told the New York Times in 1999. ”8 After the war, Sneed earned his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin, graduating in 1947.
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