Carly Fiorina appeared on “Morning Joe” Friday defending her time as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, saying, “When you lead you challenge the status quo.”
Fiorina further stated, “In tough times… sometimes tough calls are necessary.”
Willie Geist: As you know with success last night comes a bigger spot light, comes more scrutiny. There are already people coming out today and saying, “Yes, Carly Fiorina was great last night. Now let’s look at what she did at HP.” You’ve heard this before, but now it’s really getting a lot more scrutiny this morning. Umm, you’ve heard it all, job losses, board revolt, golden parachute for you as you went out the door. How do you respond to criticisms of your time at the head of HP?
Carly Fiorina: You know, I led HP through a difficult time. Dot Com bust, post 9/11, worst technology recession in 25 years. And in tough times like that, yes, sometimes tough calls are necessary. But despite those tough times, we took a company from $44 billion to almost $90 billion. We quadrupled the growth rate, we quadrupled cash flow, we tripled innovation to 11 patents a day and we went from lagging behind in every product category and every market segment to leading. Many of our competitors don’t even exist anymore. And yep, I was fired in a board room brawl. I said it from the moment I was fired. You know why I was fired? Because when you lead you challenge the status quo. And when you challenge the status quo, you make enemies. It’s part of it. It’s part of why so many people don’t lead. But, I am exceptionally proud of the very hard work the people at Hewlett-Packard did to transform a company from a laggard falling behind to a leader moving ahead.