Gerald (Jerry) Zezas

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Carly Fiorina’s Attempt at Rebranding Herself

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Carly Fiorina has been running for President based on her executive experience, citing her tenure at computer giant HP as indicative of her business prowess. The fact that running a company, irrespective of how large, has little to no relationship to running a country, (companies can’t print money, change interest rates, go to war, or demand revenue in the form of taxation, among other things), seems to be irrelevant to those in her camp.

Well, if one were to look at her time at HP, (Hewlett-Packard) one would see a train-wreck in the making, one where 30,000 people ended up being laid off, the stock price tanking, and profits plummeting to less than 1/10th of what they had been. Carly will tell you that revenues at the company almost doubled after it took over Compaq, and that is true. But for my friends who are not business school graduates, she is purposely misleading you by telling you this. Of course, revenue increases when you merge with another company since you’re now getting the money from two companies. That kind of revenue is referred to as top-line revenue. It represents that money that comes in, not the money you get to keep.

The revenue which you keep is familiarly called bottom-line revenue. That’s the important one. That, as mentioned above, after a merger which increased top-line revenue by 100%, was less than 10% of what the company had been making prior to the merger. Let me say that again. The merger which she promoted and oversaw caused the company to bring in twice as much money, but keep less than 10% of what it had been earning before. This was due to the costs or running both companies which she, as chief executive, had not anticipated. Most Wall Street types were vehemently against this merger. They were right. She was wrong, at the cost of the 30,000 layoffs that became necessary to keep the company from going under. The stockholders disliked her leadership so much that, once it was announced that she had been fired from the company, they made the stock price jump so high that it added $3 billion to the value of HP in a single day.

She was also known as someone who demanded the utmost in luxury, having requested a $30 million Gulfstream IV jet be purchased by the company for her personal use, whereas prior executives were happy to fly commercial.

Carly recieved a $21 million dollar “golden parachute” when she was kicked out of HP, having earned over $100 million during her short tenure with the company.

Carly Fiorina has had more and bigger failures than successes in her executive career and has lost every other election in which she’s ever run. She is among the most elite of salary earners, residing somewhere in the top 1/10th of the one percent. How much understanding and sympathy for the middle class and working poor do you think that she’ll bring to the Whitehouse?

So, of course, she’s running for President…

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