Carly Fiorina at HP*



Case Code : CLSDM021
Publication date : 2005
Subject : Sales and Distribution
Industry : Hardware
Length : 03 Pages
Price : Rs. 100

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Key words:

Carly Fiorina, Hewlett Packard (HP), Culture, The HP Way, Invent, Organization Structure, Cost Cutting, R&D, Compensation, Centralized, Shareholders, HP-Compaq Merger


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HP saw a decline in its business growth during the late nineties for various reasons. To revive its fortunes, the company appointed Carly Fiorina (Fiorina), who had had a successful stint at Lucent Technologies, as president and CEO. The caselet examines the steps taken by Fiorina to revive HP's business and the changes made to the organization, pay structure, etc. The caselet focuses on her leadership style. It also describes Fiorina's role in the famous HP-Compaq merger and how the merger led to her downfall at HP. Finally, the caselet takes a look at Fiorina's leadership from the employees' point of view.


Impact of leadership styles
Approach to revamping organizational culture
Importance of restructuring organization for growth


Carleton S. Fiorina (Fiorina) was born in 1954 in the US. After completing her M.B.A from the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, in 1980, she joined AT&T as an accounts executive in the sales department.  Due to her successful selling skills, she rose to become the head of AT&T's Northern American operations.

In 1999, she became the president of Lucent's (an AT&T spin-off) Global Services Provider Business and it progressed rapidly under her leadership...

Questions for Discussion:
1. HP had a complete makeover following Fiorina's appointment as CEO and President. Elucidate the role played by Fiorina in rehabilitating HP. What was the influence of Fiorina's attitude and personality on the organizational and work culture at HP?

2. Although Fiorina made rapid strides in restructuring HP, she faced criticism from all quarters due to her over-ambitious and non-delegating attitude. Discuss the reasons that led to her ouster from the company.