As a Boss, Carly Fiorina Was a Contradictory Figure at Hewlett-Packard

27 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Carly Fiorina’s Speaking Dos and Don’ts Detailed in Company Document.

As former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (R) “seeks the Republican presidential nomination, … Fiorina’s tenure as chief executive of H.P. is largely treated as the story of a misguided corporate merger, boardroom espionage and the stunning ouster of a Silicon Valley celebrity. But “the less she has to do with a speech the better,” her former speechwriter told staff members at Hewlett-Packard, according to an internal company memo, “since she’s so busy.” The speechwriter described her speaking style as “less corporate, less business-eze,” noted that she “likes historical references,” and warned that she “will reveal personal stories if appropriate.” Carl V. During the first two GOP primary debates, Fiorina has proven she can hold her own against her male competitors, even against the loud-mouthed Donald Trump.

Her distinct style of management was revealed in unglamorous strategy sessions, casual interactions with subordinates and motivational talks to the company’s far-flung global work force. … [I]t was a recurring clash — between a leader determined to transform and a work force chafing at the scale and pace of change — that defined and ultimately consumed her at H.P.” (New York Times) HOLDING OFF. Fiorina’s speechwriter at Lucent Technologies, the firm at which she made a name for herself in the 1990s, described the process of writing speeches for her in an interview with an H.P. communications employee in 1999, just as Mrs. In 1985, Carly Fiorina married her husband, Frank Fiorina, and if the pair’s charming interviews about their relationship are any indication, the Fiorinas were made for each other.

Kelly into a document titled “Speechwriter’s Guide for Carly Fiorina.” The document was obtained by The New York Times from a former H.P. employee. The document laid out her preferences for font size and spacing in a speech she was to deliver. “1st draft was usually 12 pt., single space,” he said, according to the document. “Final format – 14 pt Arial double-space.” She was determined to study her audience ahead of time, so she could tailor her message. “First item was always a complete audience analysis,” the document said. Carly Fiorina, who has no biological children of her own, took in her husband’s two children with loving arms: she wrote in her memoir that she, Frank, and the two girls “came into each other’s lives when we needed each other the most.” Tracy Fiorina Tribby is now 44 and lives with her family in Virginia. Fiorina had great respect for speechwriters and recommended that his counterpart at H.P. “break through the bureaucratic layers and meet with her personally” when preparing a speech. In a May interview with The Washington Post — during which a reporting and photography team accompanied him on a shopping trip to Costco — Fiorina explained that he was happy to support his wife’s presidential run.

Fiorina was thinking about a White House run, she seemed prepared for one of its trappings, the document suggests. “She can work from teleprompter when necessary,” it says. When asked what his preferred term for “first gentleman” was, Fiorina responded, “I’ll go by Frank.” As awkward as a discount shopping trip with reporters must have been, Fiorina allowed gems about the couple’s relationship to shine through, telling the Post’s Ben Terris that the couple’s third date “involved a lot of making out” (Terris’ words). And in addition to supporting his wife’s career goals, he supported Carly Fiorina when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy in 2009. Frank Fiorina has been by his wife’s side for decades, and you can bet that if she is elected president, he’ll continue to support her every step of the way.

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