Republican candidates better take Carly Fiorina seriously, or they may regret it. That’s what a former Hewlett-Packard colleague is saying as the former HP CEO prepares for her first debate on the national stage against the top tier candidates. Bill Mutell, former senior vice president of HP, recently told the Associated Press that Fiorina’s time at the computer giant was an experience like none other.
“She’s a person of tremendous courage, character, capacity and conviction,” Mutell said. “Carly is one of the brightest, most articulate, candid, well-versed and engaging leaders I have ever known. Period.”
Mutell’s comments come on the heels of CNN announcing they are changing the formula to allow Fiornia debate with the other top candidates on September 16. He said that her time as the top chief at HP brought about a rare kind of “incredible work” after the merger with Compaq, and that her record at the company has been distorted and misinterpreted because of the initial loss of jobs – jobs, Fiorina says, the company regained after the effects of the merger settled and the company expanded.
“Their claims that Carly was not an effective CEO are just plain wrong,” Mutell said. “In politics, an ability to twist or change the facts is an everyday occurrence. But Carly and I, we come from the business world. And in the business world, facts matter.”
Mutell goes on to describe Fiorina’s ability to double revenue, triple the number of patents applied per day, quadruple the revenue growth rate and take HP to become the 11th-largest company in the United States.
“One of Carly’s first tasks was to eliminate the overly burdensome bureaucracy within HP by eliminating product group silos and consolidating business functions across the company. Her new streamlined organization helped turn a declining and seemingly irrelevant HP into a stronger company,” he said. “Did Carly’s changes anger some HP executives and managers? Yes. But here is a news flash: People who benefit from the status quo often fear change — even if it benefits or saves the larger organization.”
Fiorina has been under recent fire from opponents, especially Donald Trump, for her time as leader of HP were the company slashed 30,000 as a result of the merger with Compaq. When she left HP, however, the company had more employees worldwide than either HP or Compaq did prior to the layoffs, a point that Fiorina and her allies continue to make. Mutell also said that her leadership transformed a stagnant and struggling computer manufacturer, bloated and complacent while its competition continued to innovate and transform.
“In short, HP needed to reform and it wasn’t going to be easy,” he said. “The HP board of directors knew they needed a change agent — someone who could retool HP and keep it relevant and competitive. And they found their new leader in Carly Fiorina.”
Mutell said the real kind of change she was able to bring to the company exemplifies the kind of change she can bring to the nation as president, the kind of leader with humility and exceptional communication skills to rally supporters and unify a nation.
“We need a leader who can eliminate bureaucracy in our government, rein in federal spending, make the tough decisions, and get America back in the leadership business once again. As someone who has known and worked closely with Carly Fiorina for years, I can tell you that she is the leader that we need.”