Research: Steve Jobs and carly Fiorina Essay

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Leadership Styles of Carly Fiorina and Steve Jobs Running head: LEADERSHIP STYLES OF CARLY FIORINA AND STEVE JOBS


Leadership Styles of Carly Fiorina and Steve Jobs Group 1 Management 4314

MGT4314 Submitted to Dr. Stephanie Solansky

Leadership Styles of Carly Fiorina and Steve Jobs Leadership Styles of Carly Fiorina and Steve Jobs Carly Fiorina took a leadership position as CEO of Hewlett-Packard for about 6 years. She brought to Hewlett-Packard (HP) nearly twenty years of experience and expertise in marketing and sales that she acquired with AT&T and Lucent. However, she failed to execute HP's strategy and deliver improvements in the company's profits and stock price. She was asked by Hewlett-Packard's board of directors to resign due to the lack of the leadership skills needed to take advantage of emerging market opportunities (Hewlett-Packard, 2007). Fiorina's mistakes in leading HP are an illustration that leadership effectiveness is dependent on situation and other environmental influences,


and not only the traits of the leader. In contrast to Fiorina’s leadership failure, a success story unfolded at Apple Computers where a leader practically saved the company. Management guru Jim Collins calls him the "Beethoven of business," Wall Street loves him, and even Bill Gates became more of a partner to him after once being his nemesis. This powerful man is Steve Jobs, cofounder and current chief executive officer of Apple Computer. Much has been made of Jobs' aggressive and demanding personality. Fortune noted that he "is considered one of Silicon Valley's leading egomaniacs" (Colvin, 2007). However, Steve Jobs is recognized as a true leader and described in terms such as charismatic, enthusiastic, and courageous. His creativity in decision-making and the ability to adapt to changing market conditions mark a turning point for Apple Computer. Carly Fiorina Background In September 1954, Cara Carleton “Carly” Sneed was born in Austin, Texas. Due to her father’s numerous job relocations, Carly lived in a variety of different places throughout her childhood. After attending five high schools, including one in Ghana, she enrolled at Stanford University, where she studied medieval history and philosophy. After the completion of her bachelor’s degree, Carly attended law school at UCLA, only to drop out after one year. “When Carly told her father, a law

MGT4314 Submitted to Dr. Stephanie Solansky

Leadership Styles of Carly Fiorina and Steve Jobs professor, that she'd decided to drop out of law school after her first year at UCLA, he shook his head and said he didn't think she'd amount to much” (Carleton S. Fiorina biography, 2000).


After dropping out of UCLA, a marriage that would eventually end in divorce, and a number of career changes, Carly accepted a position at AT&T as a sales representative in 1980. During her first few years at AT&T, Carly married AT&T executive Frank J. Fiorina. “Interested in the developing field of network communications, she surprised her coworkers by joining the male-dominated Network Systems division” (Carleton S. Fiorina biography, 2000). She would go on to become the first female officer of the Network Systems division and a few years later, she became the head of North American sales. In 1996, Fiorina was chosen to lead the AT&T’s endeavor to create a new company, Lucent, from its Western Atlantic and Bell Labs divisions. While with Lucent, Fiorina received many accolades, including being named at the top of Fortune magazine’s list of the Most Powerful Women in Business in 1998. She would remain at the top of the list until 2004 (Carly Fiorina, 2007). Fiorina stayed with Lucent until she assumed the position of CEO with Hewlett-Packard. Description of HP Hewlett-Packard Company, HP, is currently the world’s largest information technology corporation. HP is known for its printers and personal computers. Some of HP’s products include printers, computers, digital