Full Transcript: Carly Fiorina Q&A - InformationWeek

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Full Transcript: Carly Fiorina Q&A

The former Hewlett-Packard CEO talked with InformationWeek for nearly an hour about what she learned at HP, what she contributed to the company's turnaround, and how it's positioned to take advantage of Dell's troubles. This is the uncut interview.

Editor's Note: This is the complete transcript of the interview with Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard CEO.InformationWeek's Sharon Gaudin spoke with Fiorina on October 11, the day after Fiorina's new book, Tough Choices, came out.

Q: What do you think HP needs to do now? When you have tough issues, whatever they are, you have to put them right up on the table and talk about them. You can't pretend they're not there and forget about it. It's uncomfortable for some people but that's what needs to happen. People lost perspective. It was a failure of judgment, as well as ethics. Talk about that, so employees and customers understand it. In the boardroom, definitely talk about it. It's symptomatic of what's happening in the boardroom. Dysfunction happens when people won't deal with it directly. Set aside personal agendas and talk about the real issue.

Q: Do you have any advice for Mark Hurd? I don’t want to go there. I'm not there anymore. All I know is what I read now.

Q: How did you react when you found out that you had been pretexted? It's funny you ask that. Just two days ago, a reporter handed me a copy of that report and I have to tell you it was very chilling to read that report and see my name and my phone numbers and how many cell phones I had. It really is a very strange feeling. At first, I was [angry] and then like the rest of it, it just made me sad. I understand why people feel their privacy had been violated. I felt that way.

Q: In both her Congressional testimony and in her 60 Minutes interview, Patricia Dunn said board members shouldn't expect too much privacy. Do you agree with that? No. People do expect privacy for their personal lives and their personal affairs. It's one thing to say if you are using company property and resources for company purposes that the company has an obligation to understand what you're using it for. If there is fraud going on in the company, the company needs to know that. We had a situation at HP where an employee said there was a child pornography ring running in the factory. We had to investigate. It turned out to be true and we had to fire employees. A company has an obligation to understand how resources are being used. In this case, well, first of all, leaking confidential information is wrong. It destroys trust in the boardroom and also harms the company. But violating privacy is also wrong.

Q: HP CEO Mark Hurd said in a press conference on Sept. 22 that the company had reached out and apologized to everyone who had been pretexted. Did you receive an apology? No, but I'm not asking for one.

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