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Could Sarah Pailin run Hewlett-Packard?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 by Dave Winer.

That question came up today in a radio interview with McCain surrogate Carly Fiorina and she answered it truthfully, which I would have to say is the right thing to do, but in the bizarre logic of politics, it probably wasn't the smartest thing. Permalink to this paragraph

She said no, Pailin could not run Hewlett-Packard. That was her opinion. I agree, but I'm hardly an expert. Fiorina has actually run H-P herself, so she would know. Permalink to this paragraph

I suspect if they made the mistake of hiring her to run the company, they'd get nailed in countless lawsuits in the first week, not the least of which would be a suit to have the Board removed for making such an incredibly stupid choice. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named chalmers.gifIf by some miracle she lasted any period of time, it's hard to imagine how she would make a single decision in the interests of the various stakeholders, if she had any idea who the stakeholders are and how to prioritize their interests. Permalink to this paragraph

I've run a tech company with 60 employees and tens of thousands of customers and I am not remotely qualified to run a company the size of Hewlett-Packard.  Permalink to this paragraph

It's interesting to look at the bios of the executive team of the company to see how they got there.  Permalink to this paragraph

Now it's hard to see how you could conclude that running the United States government is a simpler, smaller, easier job that requires less experience than running a company the size of Hewlett-Packard. Let's compare budgets. Last year Hewlett-Packard spent about $17 billion (not including cost of goods). The US Government spent at least $2.3 trillion. That means that US Government is very roughly the equivalent of 135 H-Ps.  Permalink to this paragraph

The question should have been asked long ago of every McCain surrogate. What job wouldn't Sarah Pailin be qualified for? And list the possible choices. Play the game yourself if you like. Permalink to this paragraph

Yglesias: "I, for one, am appalled by Fiorina's sexism." Permalink to this paragraph

In an interview with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, Fiorina added: "I don't think John McCain could run a major corporation."  Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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