Fiorina & Palin… Sean May 6, 2010 Legal, Political One Dipstick Endorsing the Other Dipstick Well the voters in California had better wake up to reality. Do they have such short memories of the decimation she did to the California computer manufacturer Hewlett Packard? When Fiorina became CEO in July, 1999, HP’s stock price was $52 per share, and when she left 5 1/2 years later in February, 2005, it was $21 per share—a loss of over 60% of the stock’s value. In April 2009, the business magazine web site Condé Nast Portfolio listed Fiorina as one of “The 20 Worst American CEOs of All Time”, characterizing the HP-Compaq merger as a widely regarded failure, and citing the halving of HP’s stock value under Fiorina’s tenure. But Wait… There’s More! As the CEO of a publicly-traded company, tech stalwart Hewlett Packard, Fiorina had a fiduciary duty to maximize profits for her shareholders. It takes immense hubris to think that can be reconciled with a future in public service. But then Silicon Valley is a famously arrogant place; that’s why this election cycle has two political novices, Fiorina and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, trying to leverage corporate experience into elected office. Fiorina’s having a rough time of it. Her latest problem: defending herself against charges that HP made loads of money during her tenure by selling its products in Iran despite a U.S. trade embargo. “To her knowledge, during her tenure, HP never did business in Iran,” Fiorina’s campaign told the San Jose Mercury News. Really? Fiorina had no idea? That’s odd, since… [listbar] Fiorina in 2003 noted Middle East sales were defying global trends, and, as the Merc notes, HP’s partner there issued a press release saying sales topped $100 million and that “the seeds of the Redington-Hewlett-Packard relationship were sowed six years ago for one market – Iran.“ Three of the three HP partners in the Middle East contacted by Christopher Stewart for a story in Portfolio magazine’s August 2008 issue readily agreed to ship printers to Iran. Portfolio notified HP of the incidents, but the company didn’t condemn them, instead refusing comment. Fiorina was gone as CEO at this point, but Portfolio noted that diversion of American products to Iran trough Dubai had been going strong for many years. HP had an office in the Dubai free-trade zones notorious for funneling American goods to Iran, Portfolio reported — so it had ample means to be aware of how its products were being shipped. After the SEC noticed the prevalence of HP products in Iran, it asked the company about the matter, and got back a letter from the company saying its Dutch subsidiary sold $120 million to Iran in 2008. Finally, in January 2009, HP severed ties with Redington Gulf, the distributor that had publicly bragged about its Iran trade six years earlier. [/listbar] If Fiorina appears to have turned a blind eye to shipments of her products into Iran, that’s what she was supposed to do, as CEO; as both the Merc and Portfolio note, the company most likely stayed on the legal — and profitable — side of a gray zone, a loophole in U.S. trade sanctions. But it will be tough to look patriotic while explaining that to voters. Dear California Voters Do you want to Vote for this Ditz who nearly drove Hewlett Packard into the ground and did shady deals with IRAN? You know… The country currently building Nukes to use against Israel. So Ms. Retard Palin, Didn’t you just make comments about not doing business with foreign countries and yet in your traditional hypocrite style you are endorsing this pathetic woman who loved doing business with IRAN? Both of you are worthless pieces of trash! Contributed by the San Jose Mercury News.