Let’s Get Technical: Why Carly Fiorina?

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

Phil Rieger Former Hewlett-Packard Employee
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When Carly Fiorina was recruited as CEO of HP in 1999, people throughout the tech sector paid attention. I remember at the time, she reminded me of Ken Olsen, Digital’s former CEO who was a pioneering genius in the early explosion of the IT era. But just a year into her tenure, the tech bubble burst, and suddenly it was all about surviving. We all knew Carly had difficult tasks in front of her as the head of HP at a time when the economy was unstable. She was now working in an industry that was in a wild state of change with product pricing in constant decline and massive consolidations.

Downsizing was happening throughout the industry, and at HP it was no different. Fiorina had the gruesome task of identifying redundant products and services at HP. By making those tough, but necessary decisions, Carly kept HP alive at a time when other tech companies weren’t so lucky.

I had the opportunity to continue at HP after the HP-Compaq merger. I began working for Digital Equipment in 1974. When Compaq Computer acquired Digital in 1998, I remained with the newly formed Compaq. Four years later in 2002, when HP and Compaq merged, I became an HP employee working for Carly Fiorina. I remained at HP until 2012. The merger was controversial at its inception, but most people agree now that it was a success. The HP-Compaq merger was a step into the future: it brought in an expanding section — personal computers — to HP that allowed the new company to grow and evolve.

It is often hard for those who have not worked in the private sector, or experienced the complexities of business, to understand the need for mergers. Imagine two bakeries on a street in Derry, New Hampshire. One has the best pastries and one the best cakes. Both have excellent products but, after a deep recession hits the bakery industry, the two stores are struggling to make ends meet. The owner of the larger bakery realizes that as one single bakery they can not only survive this recession, but thrive. She buys out the smaller bakery, thereby creating a bakery that provides the best of all products — and only needing one storefront, with one staff. The merger maximizes profits and makes customers happy because it is now their one-stop-shop for baked goods. Whether two small businesses on Main Street America or two giant global corporations, the concept is the same.

This was the case with the HP and Compaq merger. The decision made by Carly to buy Compaq was for the good of both companies, and it set HP on a path to become the largest technology company in the world.

As a conservative, one of my biggest concerns is the health of the U.S. economy and the growing national debt since the Reagan years. I want a candidate that has the knowledge and proven track record to put policies in place to allow our economy to thrive and rein in our out-of-control spending. We need a leader who has an understanding of the economy and the insight to guide our country.

I truly believe Carly Fiorina is that leader. Given what she has accomplished in her life, my personal experience working for her at HP, and her success throughout her career, Carly Fiorina has a track record to prove she is the one we need to get America back in the leadership business again. Join me in supporting Carly Fiorina for President.