The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, January 22, 2004  

Reposting an Addendum

Never before have I separately reposted an addendum to an existing post, but in this case I’m willing to, I want to, make an exception.

I posted these remarks on January 20 as an addendum to a well received post, “Working in America Today,” from the previous day.

Several readers were so taken aback by the comments, posted in the addendum, of Carly Fiorina, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president of Hewlett Packard Co., that they urged wider recognition. I am all too happy to honor their requests. Enjoy. Enrage.

By the way, could there be a worse spokesperson defending offshoring than Hewlett Packard Co.’s Carly Fiorina?

Earlier this month Fiorina, defending the practice and appealing to the Bush administration for support, said: “There is no job that is America’s God-given right anymore. We have to compete for jobs.”

That’s true, at least theoretically. Even Fiorina’s job isn’t a God-given right, it’s one that comes courtesy of HP’s board of directors -- a board she conveniently happens to chair -- and shareholders. (You know HP, don’t you? Really “high-tech” operation. Nearly 40 percent of profits come from producing those sleek and futuristic gadgets known as toner cartridges.)

Fiorina has been running the show at HP for nearly five years now. During that time the company’s stock has underperformed both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite. Actually, an investor would have done better with a passbook savings account.

I wonder if there’s anyone in China or India looking for a cushy CEO slot. Hey, the new chief wouldn’t even have to move.

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