In 8th grade the HP/Compaq merger was sparking fierce national debate. I remember this as the first major business/tech story I followed closely. My 70 year old micro-econ teacher at the time was an old-timer and naturally opposed to the merger. I remember coming out “in support of the merger” and arguing with him a bit. Of course I hadn’t done any real research except for one thing which I have never forgot. I think my Dad gave me a blue booklet that came in a package HP sent to its shareholders which was a copy of a speech Carly Fiorina gave to institutional investors trying to rally support for the merger.
It absolutely blew me away – the rhetoric was so strong I remember thinking “This lady is fucking smart!” I soon became a fan of Carly and her amazing rhetorical and presentation skills. Plus – who doesn’t like to see one woman in a board of room of crusty old men and watch her kick ass.
Unfortunately I don’t have time to study the evolution of the combined company, but Fortune’s recent cover article didn’t present it in too favorable a light (to be mild).
UPDATE: A few days after this original posting, Carly is ousted as CEO. Wow.