EX- HEWLETT-PACKARD CHAIRWOMAN CARLETON FIORINA
COMMENTS ON THE "INVESTIGATION" SHE BEGAN BEFORE HER FIRING AND HER SUCCESSORS' THAT RESULTED IN A CRIMINAL INDICTMENT OF COMPANY EXECUTIVES -- "60 MINUTES" SUNDAY
In her First Interview Since Her Firing, Fiorina Says She's Shocked at the Lengths Gone to Get Information in Her Successors' Investigation that Resulted in the Current Indictments, Saying her "Investigation" was More "Conversations"
Carleton Fiorina, former chairwoman of Hewlett-Packard, speaks to Lesley Stahl in an exclusive interview conducted yesterday (4) about her former company's current problems. She also comments in an earlier interview about the situation last year that led to her public firing, the subject of her memoir, Tough Choices. Both interviews -- her first on both topics -- will be part of a 60 MINUTES segment to be broadcast Sunday, Oct. 8 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Shocked Over Tactics:
Well, I mean, I-- I was-- shocked to hear about the depth and the range of some of those tactics and-- and shocked to hear that I might have been the subject of some of them.
Doesn't Call her Initial Probe Last Year an "Investigation" Anymore:
You know, I wouldn't call what I did when I was faced with a leak-- I wouldn't even call it an investigation. I would call it a series of conversations with people. The reality is I knew very well who had talked outside the boardroom. Only one of the people who talked outside of the boardroom confessed. But, I knew who had done it. They knew who-- they had done it and so did everyone else on the board.
How She Spoke to Her Board When Confronted with Leaks:
I didn't talk down to them, but I was plain in saying: This is unacceptable behavior. A line had been crossed, and when no one would fess up, I said, 'We have to have an investigation.'
Firing Was Personal:
None of the normal business reasons apply, I know that. There were no improprieties. There were no ethics issues. So I can only conclude that it was personal in some way. Certainly, the way it was done was personal.
Never Saw Firing Coming:
You know, Lesley, I wish I could answer the question: 'Why did the Board fire me?' I can't. They never had a conversation with me. Of course I was devastated. I was hurt.
Firing Wasn't Job-Performance Related:
A company that went from not being in the top 35 innovators in the world, to leaping up to number three. A company that was profitable in every business line. A company whose brand had gone from stodgy, white, man, honestly -- that's what the research said -- to leading edge, relevant. This was a company transformed, from a laggard to a leader.
Regrets Starring in Commercials:
I mean, if I had it to do over, I probably wouldn't have gone into those commercials because I think it made me-- perhaps even more of a target.
Denies She Wasn't Aware All Company Details
I absolutely won't acknowledge that. I was running the nuts and bolts of this company along with a lot of other people.
Company's Succession Plan Not Thought Out:
After I was fired, they put the CFO in charge. They paid him $3� million dollars for 45 days of worth of work, and then they hired my successor in apparently ten days. That's not a very well thought-through succession plan for an $85-billion dollar company.
The Way She was Fired Would Never Happen to a Man:
I think somehow men understand other men's need for respect differently than they understand it for a woman. I'm disappointed to have to say that, but I think it's undeniably true.
On Her Legacy at Hewlett-Packard:
The company was transformed under my leadership. The battleship was turned. And now, my successor will establish his own momentum and, in a couple of years, we'll know where he's taking the ship. But I know where I took the ship.