Summary of Tough Choices

A Memoir

Nicholas Brealey Publishing, more...

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Tough Choices book summary
Read the inside story of the HP-Compaq merger and Carly Fiorina's ouster, in her own words.

Rating

8 Overall

7 Importance

7 Innovation

8 Style

Review

At last, Carly Fiorina speaks for herself. The controversial Hewlett-Packard ex-CEO starts at the beginning, which means that anyone interested in her perspective on the HP/Compaq merger and her subsequent firing should skip straight to chapter 20. Nevertheless, her full story is important. Willingly or not, Fiorina remains a role model for women in business. The devil is in the details – in this case, her breathlessly earnest descriptions of the inner workings of various AT&T business units (not as interesting as all that precedes and follows), and numerous slightly preachy digressions on the challenges and virtues of leadership (her leadership, of course). Despite these flaws, or perhaps because of them, Fiorina reveals herself as a human being who cries, takes risks that don't always work out and agonizes over difficult decisions. She introduces a kinder, gentler woman to readers who may know only her ruthless reputation as reported by outsiders. getAbstract thinks this memoir makes fascinating reading for managers at all levels.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Carly Fiorina became CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HP)
  • How she changed HP and headed the Compaq merger
  • How she got fired
 

Summary

Growing up
Carly Fiorina grew up in a middle-class family that valued hard work and learning. Her father, an academic, moved the family around the world for various teaching positions. Her mother was an artist and homemaker. Carly was a model student and the family diplomat. After graduating...
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About the Author

Carly Fiorina was Fortune magazine's "Most Powerful Woman in Business" from 1998 to 2003. She was Hewlett-Packard's president and CEO from 1999 to 2005, and chairman from 2000 to 2005. She previously spent almost 20 years at AT&T and Lucent Technologies.


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