Cobuyitaphobia

HP’s Fiorina doesn’t get Valentine from Board, quits,” by Dave Taylor, Intuitive Systems, http://www.intuitive.com/blog/hps_fiorina_doesnt_get_valentine_from_board_quits.html, 9 February 2005.

Cobuyitaphobia is the fear of synergetic mergers. HP’s board should have been cobuyitaphobes when Fiorina merged them and Compaq. Dave over at Intuitive Systems gives more details on HP’s dismissal of Fiorina.

I’ve been tracking the performance and strategic management of HP CEO Carly Fiorina as I’ve watched her steer Hewlett-Packard further and further from the path of success in the challenging personal computer and peripheral industry. I’ve talked about Fiorina’s rift with the Board, HP’s dispute with Apple about the iPod, and HP saddles PC division to printer group, among other topics.

To reiterate, though, it was her reinvention of the company as a centralized management hierarchy, after decades as a loose collection of mostly autonomous divisions, that began concerning me, then her decision to saddle the successful printer division — typically viewed as the bright spot in the HP portfolio — with the failing personal computer division, rather than jettison the completely commoditized business. The acquisition of Compaq was really the beginning of the PC debacle at HP, not changes in the industry, but that’s another topic entirely.

Fiorina’s prize for dragging down HP?

Two additional items of data have surfaced as the day has proceeded. First, the Board of Directors apparently asked Fiorina to resign, so it wasn’t so much that she offered to step aside at all. Second, and this is one of those stories of how CEOs just live different lives to you and me: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Fiorina’s severance package is going to be $21.1 million. Nice work if you can get it.

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