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The Uniqueness Carly Fiorina Leadership Style

Carly Fiorina

The Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) has been led by a controversial CEO named Carly Fiorina in 1999. She understood nothing about computers but promised a lot of profits when she first led HP.

Defined as the CEO of HP, Carly Fiorina's leadership style was in the spotlight. At that time, she was a newcomer who had never worked at a cellphone before. However, she promises innovation, greater profits and investment again in R & D and IT. Ironically, the three big promises actually failed and were never realized.

HP under Fiorina's leadership spent up to US $ 19 billion to acquire Compaq. But the company's biggest advantage actually comes from HP-produced ink cartridges. The company's shares also dropped from US $ 70 per share to less than US $ 20. The acquisition of Compaq was apparently not producing much results.

Even so, she actually increased his bonus and bought a private jet for himself. The board of directors finally fired Fiorina with severance pay of US $ 21 million. Until now, Carly Fiorina's leadership style was known to be very controversial. Some like it, some don't like it.

How did Fiorina start her career and become one of the most controversial CEOs in the world?

Profile of Carly Fiorina

This woman has the full name of Carleton S. Fiorina. She was born in Austin, Texas on September 6, 1954. She was the daughter of a law professor named Joseph Sneed. Her father worked as a federal judge and deputy attorney general under the leadership of President Richard Nixon.

Her mother, Madeline Sneed is an abstract artist. Carly or Carleton is the second child of three siblings. Fiorina was named after her father's family brother Carleton who was killed in the civil war. Fiorina's parents and other relatives decided to name her son with Carleton while the daughter in Cara Carleton.

Fiorina's childhood was spent in the San Francisco Bay Area. However, because of her father's duty, her family moved around and had lived in Caroline, Texas, Connecticut, New York, Ghana and England.

Fiorina had ever moves in five secondary schools on three continents. This affects her ability to overcome new situations. She often becomes a newcomer and according to her it makes her sociable.

Quitting law school, Carly Florina became a career adventurer
After graduating from high school, Carly Fiorina continued her studies at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California which is also the center of Hewlett-Packard (HP). Even though she was still a student, she took care of the library, became a receptionist at a beauty salon and had worked part time at a cellphone.

After graduating from Stanford in 1976, she enrolled to study law at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her law lecture only runs one semester. She then asked her father's permission to stop before the end of the campus.

After quitting law school, for several years Fiorina continued to move around. She had become an English teacher in Bologna, Italy. She was also interested in the world of business while working at a brokerage firm in New York. Fiorina then enrolled at the University of Maryland and graduated with a master's degree in marketing.

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Most Influential Woman in the World

With marketing knowledge from the University of Maryland, Carly Fiorina attended a management training program at AT & T and continued working there after the program was completed. Her work there includes overseeing the company's contract portion. Fiorina was involved in the sale of US $ 25 billion in telecommunications equipment at the United States General Services Administration. Amazingly, she managed the agreement alone.

Because of her success, she then rose to office several times until finally becoming an executive employee in the company's network system division. Fiorina helps AT & T to open a joint venture with companies in Asia.

In 1990, she became the first woman to be appointed leader in the division. Fiorina's career grew even brighter when she was appointed as vice president of network systems in 1991 and managed the North American sales division in 1995.

The company later changed to Lucent Technologies and Fiorina led the global service developer division. She was then appointed as president of global services in 1998 for a fee of US $ 19 billion per year.

Lucent is increasingly well-known in manufacturing telecommunications equipment and Fiorina has contributed a lot to the company's success. In 1998, she was ranked number one as the most powerful woman of all US businesses in Fortune magazine. Amazing! The position was held until 2004. According to her business is not a sport that separates between women and men.

Appointed as CEO of HP

In 1999, after following an intensive search process involving various lengthy interviews and 900 psychological tests, Carly Fiorina was finally appointed as CEO of the computer company Hewlett-Packard Company (HP). She became the first migrant to occupy the position at HP.

As a newcomer she has many problems and obstacles. Not only because she had never worked at a cellphone before, but because she was a marketing person not a technician. Fiorina doesn't know anything about computers and technology in cellphones.

She finally said that HP had to take steps to change seriously. She has her own vision and is not afraid to sell her products to anyone. However, in 2001, she made a surprising decision. Fiorina planned to fire 3,000 managers and replace 30% of highly dedicated employees at the company. She also even threatened to fire the HP sales staff if they could not sell more.

Carly Fiorina also changed the HP logo to encourage sales. She negotiated an exclusive purchase agreement with Ford Motor Company and Delta Airlines. The next big client is General Electric, the Walt Disney Company, and the United States Department of Homeland Security.

Her decisions made the HP’s employee feel very disappointed. A total of 8,000 employees reported feeling dissatisfied with Fiorina's performance. This is because of her communication and various applications of work systems were not accordance with the company's vision.

Fiorina's business strategy 

Many say Carly Fiorina's style is against the HP business culture. The company was previously very friendly with open offices and good communication between management and employees. Some employees asked the founder of HP to change Fiorina's as her strange leadership style. The fact is that the board of directors prefers to side with Fiorina.

Still as CEO of HP, Fiorina again made a controversial move. She announced HP's plan to acquire Compaq. The subsidiary of HP oppose the purchase of a total of US $ 19 billion. But 51% of the company's shareholders approved it.

Fiorina successfully raised the cellphone by acquiring Compaq and defeated IBM and Dell. However, there are those who think that the HP business performance was just ordinary and not significant. It was trus that the company's sales have increased for five years, but 80% of the profits were still derived from the sale of ink cartridges for printers.

Fiorina and HP directors were back in a heated debate about the company's business direction. On February 9, 2005, the HP board of directors finally decided to dismiss Fiorina from the company. She was forced to resign by receiving severance pay of US $ 21 million.

Carly Fiorina Leadership Style

Carly Fiorina's leadership style is known to be very unique. She had success in her business career until she was appointed as CEO of HP. However, when becoming the CEO of this cellphone, Fiorina showed a lot of unique and eccentric leadership styles. This made many people pay attention and analyze what Carly Fiorina's leadership style looks like.

The way Fiorina worked can be categorized as job-centered leader. This type of leader focuses on how to complete a work and create a supervision system, so that she can monitor the performance of her subordinates in achieving the set targets. This type respects coercion methods, reward-punishment systems, and legitimate power to influence subordinates.

Carly Fiorina, actually known as a kind person. She also likes to give small attention that respects and encourages her employees. For example by sending voice mail or interest to employees who work and achieve above average. Fiorina remembers that subordinates are the best team to support the realization of success.

Fiorina did not hesitate pacing her ideas to important people and meeting her employees. She carried out a practice called "management by walking around."

Carly Fiorina has a multidimensional vision, but one focus. She leads a multinational giant company that requires her to continue to do 'distillation' to get to the core of all the problems ("the very heart of things").

Fiorina leads by considering the future far and with a global perspective. She can detect the essence of it all and focus on that essence. She also recognizes the signs of the times (zeitgeist), and knows the specific agenda that she must do.

Fiorina is known as a goal oriented leader, capable of making complex things simple and easy to understand. Regardless of the positive or negative Carly Fiorina's business leadership style, she was a phenomenal leader. Carly Fiorina can make herself in the Fortune’ most influential list of women and she deserve to be appreciated.