FORTUNE -- The interviewer in this Bloomberg TV clip wonders whether Hewlett Packard has mismanaged its PC business, forcing the company to make the surprise announcement last week that it's shopping its Personal Systems Group. "It's not for me to say," said interviewee Carly Fiorina, the former HP CEO whose controversial purchase of Compaq computer in 2002 made the company the No. 1 purveyor of PCs.
Or maybe it was for her to say. She immediately followed up her demurring statement with a criticism of HP's (HPQ) disinvestment in research and development. She also repeatedly defended her decision to buy Compaq, which she said succeeded "in revenue, in market share, and in profitability." Further, she maintained, the Compaq acquisition also strengthened HP's position in the enterprise business – servers, storage, networking – that HP last week said it was now going to concentrate on when it sheds the PC division. Critics have contended all along that HP could have strengthened that position without spending $25 billion to acquire a low-margin PC company. Nonetheless, Fiorina said, the Compaq acquisition was "all about the enterprise."
She made a similar demonstration of rhetorical gymnastics in describing her 1999 decision (also highly controversial) to spin off HP's testing and measurement division into Agilent (A). That division was spun off, she said "not because it was a failure, but because it was a success" and "could continue to be a success outside the company."
With news that Hewlett-Packard plans to spin off its PC business, the struggling company can finally bid adieu to Compaq, Carly Fiorina, and other bad memories from its past.
By Duff McDonald, contributor
FORTUNE -- Hewlett-Packard, the world's biggest computer maker, announced that it's planning to spin off its personal computer business and will buy the UK-based software developer Autonomy for about $10 billion. The news allowed HP stock to fight a disastrous MOREAug 18, 2011 3:03 PM ET
The famously volatile Bartz defends her two-year tenure as Yahoo CEO to Fortune and says she's cut out the cuss words -- sometimes.
When Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz opens her mouth, it's likely something quote-worthy—though possibly not fit for print—is coming. Case in point: Last May, the outspoken chief executive told TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington to "f*** off" during a videotaped interview.
But on Tuesday evening, a somewhat more subdued Bartz took MOREMichal Lev-Ram, writer - Dec 1, 2010 11:24 AM ET
Every day, the Fortune staff spends hours poring over tech stories, posts, and reviews from all over the Web to keep tabs on the companies that matter. We've assembled the day's most newsworthy bits below.Facebook is going full-throttle with mobile. The leading social network unveiled three new features yesterday: single sign-on for all FB-enabled apps, the ability for developers to use its location API, and a local deals platform with partners MORE JP Mangalindan, Writer - Nov 4, 2010 8:29 AM ET
Tech CEOs Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina seemed to have all the pieces in place to take advantage of the nationwide GOP surge. But with tin ears aimed at voters, they couldn't even win their companies' headquarters counties.
By Chadwick Matlin, contributor
Carly! Meg! What happened? You were both so promising. A dream team of former Silicon Valley CEOs—female CEOs at that; Republican challengers in an election favoring Republican challengers; women who MORENov 3, 2010 11:22 AM ET
Before she became the controversial CEO of HP, Senate candidate Carly Fiorina was a star at Lucent. What does her time at the telecom disaster say about her?
In the spring of 1999, Lucent Technology's star executive Carly Fiorina pulled off yet another coup—or so it appeared. A tiny start-up called PathNet agreed to buy huge amounts of fiber-optic gear from Lucent, a deal worth at least $440 million and potentially MOREScott Woolley - Oct 15, 2010 4:00 AM ET
Mark Hurd was the last guy who you'd think would end up the subject of sordid speculation. But sometimes "the last guy's" turn gets called. Now who's next in the hot seat?
Talk about a shocker. When Mark Hurd joined Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) in 2005 he aimed to reduce the drama at the staid company that had seen a little too much razzle dazzle under his predecessor, Carly Fiorina. She was all MOREAdam Lashinsky, Sr. Editor at Large - Aug 6, 2010 11:39 PM ET
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