2 min read

HP battles celebrity status

Carly Fiorina's memoir will put her former company in an unwanted spotlight, briefly casting a shadow over Mark Hurd's achievements

The last thing Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd needs right now is a tell-all book from former high- profile HP chief Carly Fiorina, but that is exactly what he has.

Fiorina’s memoirs, Tough Choices, hits bookstores next month. Excerpts and some leaks have already made it to industry cocktail parties. While the book may not be linked to HP’s recent stock slump it certainly does not help Hurd, who has made strides during his short time at the computing giant.

HP has closed the gap on PC leader Dell, but that could also be attributed to Dell’s pricing advantages through its direct model eroding and its recent battery blow-up scandal.

Eye on Canada

According to one HP Canada insider, Hurd is looking over everything himself and not relying on trusted deputies to execute his vision. One story goes that an HP Canada business unit turned in its yearly budget to HP corporate and got it back marked up with Hurd’s handwriting.

As for Fiorina’s story, well, this will be one that would have pleased former FBI chief and wiretap-lover J. Edgar Hoover.

It turns out that under Fiorina’s watch certain high-tech journalists and HP board members were being watched.

She hired lawyers to question board members. But when Fiorina was relieved of her duties at HP the leaks continued.

According to Amazon.com, Tough Choices will finally reveal the real Carly Fiorina, who writes with brutal honesty about her triumphs and failures, her deepest fears and most painful confrontations including her sudden and very public firing by HP’s board of directors.

She is already scheduled to speak at the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association in Virginia, the Churchill Club in Mountain View, Calif. and before the Chicago Council of Foreign Affairs.

Even the Seattle Post-Intelligencer will be hosting a night-time event to which it is selling tickets.

Everyone will be making money, albeit at HP’s expense. Yes, HP will be dragged through the mud for as long as it takes for everyone to make their fair share.

Fiorina could have taken the high road. She could have been the president of the World Bank, a U.S. ambassador or tried her hand as a U.S. senator.

Instead she has chosen to associate herself with those who wrote tell-all books about Bing Crosby, Joan Crawford and O.J. Simpson.