Tough Choices: A Memoir
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The New York Times bestseller by the most talked about woman in American business.
For five and a half years, Carly Fiorina led Hewlett-Packard through major internal changes, the worst technology slump in decades, and the most controversial merger in high-tech history. Yet just as things were about to turn around, she was abruptly fired, making front-page news around the world.
Fiorina has been the subject of endless debate and speculation. But she has never spoken publicly about crucial details of her time at HP, about the mysterious circumstances of her firing, or about many other aspects of her landmark career. Until now.
In this extraordinarily candid memoir, she reveals the private person behind the public persona. She shares her triumphs and failures, her deepest fears and most painful confrontations. She shows us what it was like to be an ambitious young woman at stodgy old AT&T and then a fast- track executive during the spin-off of Lucent Technologies. Above all, she describes how she drove the transformation of legendary but deeply troubled HP, in the face of fierce opposition.
One of Fiorina's big themes is that in the end business isn't just about numbers; it's about people.This book goes beyond the caricature of the powerful woman executive to show who she really is and what the rest of us male or female, in business or not can learn from the tough choices she made along the way.
needed more ongoing communications with the CEO. I asked them why they thought we should reorganize now. They said it would show “flexibility.” We were under pressure in the market and in the press, and if we reorganized, we’d change the topic of conversation. It would show we were “doing something.” I asked why they thought we needed more communication. In addition to our Board and committee meetings, Board members had frequent and unrestricted dialogue with any member of the management team at
it was my problem to solve and decide how to respond. Finally, I went to David’s desk and said, “You know, I hope it won’t make you too uncomfortable, but I think I’m going to go to lunch anyway. I’ll meet you all there.” You could have heard a pin drop in the office as everyone watched the scenario unfold. The next day arrived and I was scared to death. That morning I chose my outfit particularly carefully. I dressed in my most conservative suit and carried my briefcase like a shield of honor.
doesn’t have anything to tell us. And then as you talked, their looks changed; and you could see them deciding that maybe you weren’t so dumb after all. Look, Carly, people see me and even if they don’t know me, they assume I’m pretty good or I wouldn’t be in the job I’m in. People see you and they don’t assume that. You have to convince them.” I was thirty years old, but believe it or not, this was the first time it had ever occurred to me that my gender alone could deny me the presumption of
leave Engineering. I’d gotten comfortable there. The engineers liked me, and I liked them. Now I would have to start all over. I was crying because I was scared. There was a big difference between a second- and a third-level management job. Was I really up to it? I met with each of my team separately to tell them I was leaving. Jim Psioda was one of the most loyal and dedicated employees I’ve ever seen. He was dogged and persistent in his work and loved the challenge. He wasn’t flashy or fancy
Richard Ullman all gave their time, their care and their candor to me and to this book. Finally, and especially, Adrian Zackheim has my deepest gratitude and appreciation. Contents Acknowledgments Prologue 1 | A Gift from My Parents 2 | The Stranger 3 | Don’t Think About the Next Job 4 | New Fears 5 | Not Till the Lady Leaves 6 | Choices of the Heart 7 | Our Token Bimbo 8 | I Can and I Will 9 | Saving My Tears 10 | The Stuff of Triumph 11 | The Journey, Not the Destination