Carly Fiorina on Corporations

Republican primary challenger and former CEO


Crony capitalism is alive and well, and leads to socialism

Crony capitalism is alive and well, and has been so in Washington DC for decades. Crony capitalism is what happens when government gets so big and so powerful that only the big and the powerful can handle it.

Why are the pharmaceutical companies consolidating? Why are there 5 even bigger Wall Street banks now instead of the 10 we used to have? Because when government gets big and powerful, the big feel like they need to get even bigger to deal with all that power. And meanwhile, the small & the powerless go out of business.

This is how socialism starts. Government causes a problem and then government steps in to solve the problem. This is why, fundamentally, we have to take our government back.

And, meanwhile, small businesses are getting crushed. Big government favors the big, the powerful, and the well-connected and crushes the small and the powerless. It's why we have to reduce the size and power of government--to level the playing field between big and powerful and small and powerless

Source: GOP `Your Money/Your Vote` 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

At HP, I made tough calls in tough times

I was recruited to HP to save a company. It was a company that had grown into a bloated bureaucracy that cost too much and delivered too little to customers and shareholders. As an outsider, I tackled HP's entrenched problems head-on, I cut the bureaucracy down to size, reintroduced accountability, focused on service, on innovation, on leading in every market and every product segment. It was a difficult time. However, we saved 80,000 jobs. We went on to grow to 160,000 jobs. I had to make tough calls in tough times. I think people are looking for that in Washington. I was fired over a disagreement in the boardroom. One of the things that people don't understand is how accountable a CEO is. I had to report results every 90 da
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

I got fired because I challenged the status quo

I led Hewlett Packard through the worst technology recession in 25 years. Yes, we had to make tough choices, and in doing so, we saved 80,000 jobs. As for the firing, I have been honest about this from the day it happened. When you challenge the status quo, you make enemies. The man that led my firing, Tom Perkins, just took out a full-page ad in the New York Times to say he was wrong,
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

US should uplift small businesses, not crony capitalism

I think we need to understand what the true engine of economic growth and job creation is in this country. It has always been small businesses, new businesses, family owned businesses, and community-based businesses that create 2/3of the jobs and employ half the people. And we are now crushing those businesses. In fact, we are destroying more businesses in the United States now that are being created for the first time in our history. Meanwhile, crony capitalism is alive and well, and the wealthy are getting wealthier. With a very large powerful complicated government, which is what we have and which Democrats want more of, only the powerful and well-connected can survive.
Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jul 12, 2015

Crony capitalism is alive and well: focus on small business

Q: What are your ideas about the economy and about dealing with our national debt?

FIORINA: Well, I think we have two fundamental structural problems in our economy. One is that we have tangled people up in a web of dependence from which they can't escape. We're leaving lots of talent on the field. Secondly, we're crushing small businesses now. Elizabeth Warren is right, crony capitalism is alive and well. Big business and big government go hand in hand. But for the first time in US history now, we are destroying more businesses than we are creating. And so, while we have 10 banks, too big to fail, now have become 5 big banks too big to fail, [while] 3,000 community banks have gone out of business, and that's where family-owned and small businesses get their chance. That's important because small businesses create 2/3 of the new jobs and employ 1/2 the people. So, if we want the middle class growing again, we've got to get small and family-owned businesses going and growing again.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Mar 29, 2015

As CEO, laid off 30,000 workers but doubled size of company

Q: Your record at head of Hewlett Packard is going to be controversial. During your 5 years as CEO, the company laid off more than 30,000 American workers, many of those jobs went to India and China, and Hewlett-Packard stock fell 49% and the board of directors fired you.

FIORINA: Well, I'm very proud of our record. We took Hewlett-Packard from about $44 billion to $88 billion. We took the growth rate from 2% to 9%. We tripled the rate of innovation to 11 patents a day. We quadrupled cash flow. We went from a market laggard to a market leader in every product category and every market segment. And we grew jobs. It is true that I managed through the worst technology recession in 25 years. Virtually every technology stock was down over that same period. And while it's true that in a technology recession, we had to lay people off, the truth is we outsourced more California jobs to Texas than we did to India or China, demonstrating we have to compete for every job.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Mar 29, 2015

Focus on supporting small family-owned businesses

Carly began her career as a receptionist at a small business and worked her way up the corporate ladder to become the first woman to lead a Fortune 20 company. Over the course of her decades of experience, she witnessed first hand the economic engines that are small businesses.

Given these tough times, our top priorities should be economic growth and job creation. That means focusing our efforts on supporting the small businesses, family-owned businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs that employ more than 50% of Americans and create 2/3 of our nation's new jobs.

Carly recognizes the importance of increasing access to capital so that small businesses have the resources they need to succeed, reducing the cost of doing business so that home-grown entrepreneurs have the opportunity to thrive, and eliminating barriers to job creation to put Americans back to work.

Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, carlyforcalifornia.com , Dec 25, 2009

Favorite business author: philosopher Friedrich Hegel

I decided to take as many philosophy courses as I could. Ultimately, I would study philosophers from the ancient Greeks to the modern age.

Hegel had a profound effect on me. The philosophy of thesis, antithesis, synthesis and the possibility of reconciliation between two seemingly opposing ideas, seemed both brilliant and practical to me. Later in life I would use this mental model over and over in business. In fact, many years later when a reporter asked me who my favorite business author was, I responded, "Hegel. You know: thesis, antithesis, synthesis. At Lucent we were trying to turn a one-hundred-year-old company into a start-up. At HP, we're trying to both celebrate our history and create the future,"

Source: Tough Choices, by Carly Fiorina, p. 11 , Sep 25, 2007

Change takes a critical mass, not 100% support

I spent two days in meetings with my new regional vice presidents. I insisted we examine every opportunity for increased efficiency. We looked at every sales funnel. I pushed and probed and prodded. There was a lot of resistance.

Change doesn't require 100 percent of the people to go along. It doesn't even take the majority. It does take critical mass.

With renewed energy we talked nuts and bolts, and by the end it was clear to all of us that despite all the issues that made our jobs difficult, we could make very real improvements in every aspect of our business. The exercise has been long and difficult, but everyone felt better when we'd finished.

Source: Tough Choices, by Carly Fiorina, p.115-6 , Sep 25, 2007

Employees, customers, shareholders, public: all one audience

Advertising and marketing are great only if they are authentic--real reflections of a company's aspirations, capabilities, and choices--the consequence of specific strategic and operational decisions, not disconnected campaigns or wishful thinking.

Marketing and advertising are, of course, one form of communication. And although there are many forms of communication, there is but one audience. Experts will argue that there are many audiences--there are employees, and customers, and shareholders and communities. I believe that in reality these have all become one. First, technology has now made it so; for example, it is simply no longer possible to speak to employees without shareholders hearing about it or vice versa. Second, particularly for a large public company, most people are members of more than one group. An employee is a shareholder. A shareholder is also a customer and lives in a community where the company has a large facility. A customer lives there as well and owns stock.

Source: Tough Choices, by Carly Fiorina, p.125 , Sep 25, 2007

Named "Most Powerful Businesswoman", but lists are bad idea

Fortune wanted to come out for a photo shoot. I had been chosen as the Most Powerful Woman in Business. I was stunned, excited, and immediately called my mother, who was ecstatic.

In that first interview, and for all six years in which I was named the Most Powerful Woman in Business, I said that although I was flattered and honored, the list was a bad idea. It is one thing to highlight successful businesswomen. That can be a wonderful way to encourage other women to enter the business world, or perhaps to stay there, and it can serve to remind everyone that diversity make business better. But the list sends a different message altogether. Women have to compete against one another because they can't compete with men.

After that, everyone always asked: "How does it feel to be the most powerful woman in business?" I would try to deflect the question by saying, "I've never thought of myself as a woman in business. I've thought of myself as a person doing business who happens to be a woman."

Source: Tough Choices, by Carly Fiorina, p.145 , Sep 25, 2007

Strike balance between preservation and reinvention

[In 1999], when I was appointed HP CEO, I talked about my respect for the company. I talked about how long I'd been associated with it. I talked about the opportunity the spilt of the company represented: an opportunity to inject new energy and speed into HP. And I talked about the HP way. I said the most important thing I could do was strike the right balance between preservation and reinvention. It was the first time I'd used those words. I said the word "preservation" because the legacy of the company was a powerful symbol and motivator. I chose the term "reinvention" because invention was a core virtue of HP, and I needed to find a word for change that captured their pioneering spirit. The phrase seemed to resonate with the Board, and I would use it over and over again.
Source: Tough Choices, by Carly Fiorina, p.165 , Sep 25, 2007

Leaders are made, not born: so develop them

All my experience taught me that leaders are made, not born. Leadership doesn't just happen; leadership can be taught and developed. So, over multiple years, we redesigned all of our management training curricula. We designed a unique set of leadership development courses and experiences that came to be known as Winning-Edge Leadership.

Leaders can be made, but not every manager can become a leader. Leaders are defined by character, capability and collaboration.

Source: Tough Choices, by Carly Fiorina, p.221-2 , Sep 25, 2007

If things are working, people don't need a leader's help

A leader's job is to add value, and not get in the way, or preside or take credit. If things are working, people actually don't need your help. Go find where they do need you. Sometimes, if things aren't working, people can see that there are problems, but they can't identify the cause or, consequently, the solution. A leader's job is to find and address the cause, just as a doctor's job is to try to cure the disease rather than simply treat the symptoms.
Source: Tough Choices, by Carly Fiorina, p.113 , Sep 25, 2007

Other candidates on Corporations: Carly Fiorina on other issues:
2017 Trump Administration:
Former Obama Administration:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
State:John Kerry
HUD:Julian Castro
State:Hillary Clinton
Staff:Rahm Emanuel

Former Bush Administration:
Pres.George W. Bush
V.P.Dick Cheney
State:Colin Powell
State:Condi Rice

Former Clinton Administration:
Pres.Bill Clinton
V.P.Al Gore
HUD:Andrew Cuomo
Labor:Robert Reich
A.G.:Janet Reno
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Page last updated: Sep 27, 2018