Fiorina as new CEO
Lucent exec becomes first outsider to lead company;
retired VP Dick Hackborn to become board chairman at her
took a dramatic step to convince investors and analysts that
its remaking itself, naming 44-year-old Carly Fiorina as
company president and CEO as of July 17.
Fiorina edged out insider candidate Ann Livermore for the
job at the end, according to HP sources. Livermore remains the CEO
and President of HPs Enterprise Computing Solutions business,
the group which includes the HP 3000 division (CSY). The two women
were the finalists in the months-long search for HPs sixth CEO,
and HP said its board of directors decision was
She is quite simply the ideal candidate to leverage
HPs core strengths in the rapidly changing information-systems
industry and to lead this great company well into the new
millennium, said board member Sam Ginn, who led the search
HPs board was pushing for the companys first
outside CEO to lead the company in its e-services push. Heading up
AT&T spinoff Lucents $20 billion Global Service Provider
division, Fiorina was named Americas Most Powerful
Businesswoman last year by Fortune Magazine. Oprah Winfrey was
second on the Fortune list, while HP executive Carolyn Ticknor
was ranked 22nd. Livermore was not on the list, having only been
appointed to lead the Enterprise Computing Solutions business in
Livermore was quoted in a San Jose Mercury News
report as saying she has no current plans to seek a CEO post in
another company. My intent is to stay, she said. I
think [Fiorina] is going to be a great leader for our
After Fiorina met with retired HP executive and board member
Dick Hackborn during HPs search for a successor to CEO Lew
Platt, Fiorina found Hackborn squarely in her corner.
Fiorina returned the support almost immediately on being
named as CEO. She asked Hackborn to take the chairman of the board
role that Platt will be vacating at years end, a position that
she reported she needed to persuade Hackborn to accept. Hackborn is
also a board member at Microsoft.
I am extremely pleased that Dick is willing to take on
expanded responsibilities at this important juncture in HP's
history, Fiorina said. His long and deep experience in
all aspects of HP's business and his strong relationships
throughout the company and the computing industry will be
invaluable to me and HP.
Hackborn takes the head seat on the HP board in a
non-executive role, because of his status as a retired HP VP. But the
move is more evidence Hackborns position in the company is as
keeper of the HP Way and kingmaker. Hackborn was reportedly offered
the HP CEO position at the last transition, when CEO John Young was
retiring in 1992. But as head of HPs printer business
headquartered in Boise, Idaho, Hackborn was loath to relocate to the
Bay Area to accept the CEOs post.
Rick Belluzzo, the last HP executive who was in line to
succeed Platt, was a protégé of Hackborns in that
HP printer business. Once Hackborn retired from HP in 1993 and
remained on the HP board, Belluzzo moved up to a post where he
controlled nearly all of HPs computing business
essentially the same position Fiorina adopted. Belluzzo left HP in
1998 to become CEO of Silicon Graphics.
Hackborn had another protégé on the HP insider
list of candidates, Carolyn Ticknor, who is CEO of HPs LaserJet
Imaging Systems business. Livermore, Ticknor, Duane Zitzner and
Antonio Perez the four CEOs of HPs computing and imaging
businesses all report to Fiorina.
The new HP CEO arrives with a varied educational background,
but almost all of her business experience has been with AT&T.
Fiorina has an undergraduate degree in medieval history, an MBA from
the University of Maryland and a master of science degree from MIT's
Sloan School. In nearly 20 years at AT&T, she spearheaded
Lucent's 1996 initial public offering and subsequent spin-off from
AT&T, which HP characterized as one of the largest and most
successful IPOs ever, raising $3 billion.
Fiorina began her AT&T career as an account executive
selling long distance service. She had started down the path in law,
her fathers profession. But she quit UCLAs law school,
sold real estate in Palo Alto and taught English overseas before
earning her MBA in 1980. At Lucent, she held top posts in regional
sales, strategy, global marketing and market development.
Leaving Lucent was a very difficult decision, but this
is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for me, said Fiorina.
Hewlett-Packard is a company of great accomplishment and even
greater potential. HP has a proud history, a powerful brand, superb
technology, talented employees, strong partner and customer
relationships, and an innovative new e-services strategy. I am
delighted and deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead one of
the most respected companies in the world and I will strive to
strike the right balance between reinforcing HP's values and working
to reinvent its businesses.
Platt will retire from his 33-year career at HP at
years end, overseeing the spinoff of HPs instrument
business until that time. Although several exceptional HP
executives were strong CEO candidates, now is the right time for
fresh leadership, Platt said in a statement. With Carly
and the strong team already in place, I am convinced HP is in
extremely capable hands as it prepares to move into the next phase of
Platt oversaw the biggest growth in HPs history in his
seven years as CEO, as revenues ballooned 187 percent to $47.1
billion, while its earnings grew 436 percent over the same period. He
became chairman of the HP board in 1993, when co-founder David