Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina is finding little support from her old company in her bid to unseat Sen. Barbara Boxer
If Carly Fiorina is going to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., she’s apparently going to have to do it without the support of some at Hewlett-Packard.
That could spell some difficulty for Fiorina, who—with no political record to speak of, outside of her role as a proxy during Sen. John McCain’s presidential run—will have to rely a great deal on tenure as HP’s CEO.
A week after HP heir Arianna Packard blasted Fiorina for not being conservative enough and for what she described as a disastrous time leading HP, the Sacramento Bee has reported that HP’s PAC (political action committee) has donated $10,000 (£6665) to Boxer’s campaign.
And that’s after Arianna Packard already had donated $4,200 to the campaign of Chuck DeVore, a Republican state assemblyman who is running against Fiorina for the GOP nomination.
At the state GOP convention on 13 March, she reportedly unveiled a short film attacking Boxer on a number of fronts, including fiscal policy and the environment. Fiorina said she is the only GOP candidate capable of beating Boxer. She also touted her own record as HP’s CEO, talking about how she steered the company through tough economic times.
However, not everyone saw it that way. In her letter to Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Tom Coburn, R-OK, and James Inhofe, R-OK, Arianna Packard said she was “saddened by your recent letter in support of Carly Fiorina”.
“I know a little about Carly Fiorina, having watched her almost destroy the company my grandfather founded,” Packard said in the letter. “You write that she is a ‘proven business leader.’ This may be how she spins her career, but most business commentators consider Fiorina’s tenure at HP to be a disaster.”
Packard, a New York resident who was in California the weekend of 13 March to raise money for DeVore’s campaign, noted how the company’s stock price tumbled during Fiorina’s tenure, and questioned the success of HP’s merger with Compaq.
She also raised issues with Fiorina’s political leanings.
“If Ms. Fiorina is what passes for conservative in Washington today, then the establishment has veered sadly to the left,” she wrote, praising DeVore and Tom Campbell, a former Republican Congressman who in January opted out of the governor’s race to challenge Fiorina and DeVore for the GOP Senatorial nomination.
Both DeVore and Campbell also have been attacking Fiorina’s record as HP’s CEO.
Fiorina is one of two former CEOs of top-tier high-tech companies running for statewide office in California. Meg Whitman, the ex-head of eBay, is seeking the governor’s seat.