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Claudia Imhoff

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About the author >

A thought leader, visionary, and practitioner, Claudia Imhoff, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert on analytics, business intelligence, and the architectures to support these initiatives. Dr. Imhoff has co-authored five books on these subjects and writes articles (totaling more than 150) for technical and business magazines.

She is also the Founder of the Boulder BI Brain Trust, a consortium of independent analysts and consultants (www.BBBT.us). You can follow them on Twitter at #BBBT

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Seems that Carly Fiorina just has a way of attracting an audience no matter what she does. Now 16 months after being fired by HP, she manages to make the headlines one more time -- This time with a book. Read on to get some snippets from her memoir, titled "Tough Choices"...

According to the Business Week article, she started her speech by stating "I'm now an author and did in fact write every word of this book". That may sounds strange but there are many, many "tell all" books supposedly written by famous people that are ghost written by unsung writers. Refreshing that she writes her own stuff.

Her stated purpose for the book? First to demystify business -- to show "how people actually behave, and how a leader can change people's results". Un huh... And second, she wanted to "present a more authentic portrait of herself". Un huh again... Apparently she is not happy with the way the press has described her in the past. Now she has her chance.

So -- what does she have to say? She seemed to claim credit -- at least partially -- for HP's current health by saying that she made the company take the necessary risks to develop a clearer focus on HP's value to its customers. Certainly HP has demonstrated a healthy net income (up 51%) and sales increase for second quarter 2006 (up 4.6%) but it would be nearly impossible to dissect the reasons for the increases -- and especially difficult to lay the credit at actions she took while CEO. But her claim that "We made the necessary changes" would indicate who she thinks is responsible. Perhaps she has been greatly maligned in the press and does deserve at least some of the credit, perhaps not. I certainly can't answer that question. (I welcome your comments on this.)

So what else is in her memoir? Apparently she spends a fair bit of time discussion the challenges that women face in climbing the corporate ladder -- like business lunches arranged by male cohorts at strip clubs... Yeah -- that would make it a bit uncomfortable, seems like, to discuss sales and marketing directions and not just for a young Carly Fiorina...

But the big question revolves around how much does she air dirty laundry at HP. Does she bash her former colleagues? Does she expose the inner workings that spelled her demise there? She gave no indication other than to say that the book spent an appropriate amount of time (percentage-wise) to her life there. According to her, "I didn't write it to settle scores. I have something to say, not something to prove". But she also added that some of her stories "may be difficult for some people to read"....

Hmmm -- I guess we will just have to wait until October, the proposed date of its debut to find out. So -- will you be chomping at the bit to buy the book or will you refuse to add to her sales coffers? Let me know.

As always -- yours in BI success.

Claudia


Posted June 12, 2006 9:36 AM
Permalink | 2 Comments |

2 Comments

This is interesting news, thanks Claudia. As a male that has climbed a few rungs on the corporate ladder, I sometimes feel uncomfortable with the "boy's club" behavior of some men in business/management. I'm very interested in, and hopeful about, what she has to say.

Regards,
Chris

HP was always a sound company with lots of bright people. That was why Hurd was able to turn it around so fast. Carly had 5 years to get that ship moving in the right direction and never did. She had all the same opportunity to make it work that Mark Hurd had but was too busy promoting herself instead of running the company. Once Hurd showed up and put the emphasis back on the company and not on the CEO, the train got back on the tracks.

Sorry Carly, but you don't deserve any credit. If you were still at the helm, the sales force would still be confused, and the company would still be rudderless. Needless to say, I won't be buying your book. You have not shown a track record of business success about which I would want to read.

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