Rupert Murdoch is taking dead aim at the New York Times with his new Saturday Wall Street Journal magazine, WSJ. Yesterday’s inaugural issue had a feature on Carly Fiorina’s run for the Republican nomination to oppose Senator Barbara Boxer. The article was reasonably positive, and homed in as usual on Fiorina’s tenure at HP.

I am a lifelong Democrat, and if I were still a California voter, I would probably not vote for Ms. Fiorina. Nonetheless I am a staunch defender of her HP record. (I called her “CEO of the Year” at one point in this space.) After reading the WSJ piece, I sent her an email offering a public statement from me on her HP tour of duty.

To wit:

“HP, circa 2010, is the 600-lb gorilla astride the computer industry. Why? The Compaq acquisition. PERIOD. Carly Fiorina, without a lot of help at times, fought the Hewlett and Packard families in a bitter, protracted battle to do the deal. And won. In doing so she both saved and transformed one of America’s greatest companies. And if that’s not enough, she also took one of earth’s least consumer-oriented companies and converted it into a consumer dynamo, almost single-handedly (again). The greatest criticism of Fiorina was that Dell, then the #1 PC manufacturer, outstripped HP in profitability. Or at least Dell did until, after Fiorina left, they were forced to ‘restate’ (erase) a huge share of those profits. Ms. Fiorina doubtless made missteps, but anyone who disses or discounts or dismisses the profound positive impact of her tenure at HP is blind or an idiot or both.”—Tom Peters, co-author of In Search of Excellence (Peters lived in Silicon Valley for 30+ years, but did not consult to or work with or even meet Fiorina until after she had left HP.)

Tom Peters posted this on May 4, 2010, in News.
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