Saturday, March 05, 2005
Carly's Way: "An electronic engineer who worked as a Research Scientist at the Hewlett-Packard Imaging Systems Laboratory starting in 1975 until he resigned in 2003, G.S. thought HP represented the very best of American character -- 'a spirit of adventure and a belief in unlimited possibilities.'
He charges, though, that starting in 2000 the can-do attitude was killed by management choices intended to placate nervous investors and board members rather than benefit the company and its workers over the long-term. He warns that sustained cut-backs to R&D budgets over the past half-decade may have irreversibly damaged H-P and the entire U.S. technology industry.
I snuck out of Hungary in 1973, one week after I was told that if I ever wanted to advance as an engineer, I would have to join the Communist Party.
Being a good party member was far more important than your skill level, and so my boss was a man who had been a pig farmer. After decades spent raising hogs, he suddenly was supervising dozens of machinists, most of whom had engineering degrees and had built bridges and buildings until we were reassigned to 'practical and useful' work -- making parts for factory machines.
Working for Carly Fiorina reminded me of my days working for that farmer. I remember the first time she walked into the Hewlett-Packard labs. She said that our new company slogan was 'Invent.' Then she told us that the technology industry would never again be as exciting and profitable as it was in the '90s. That we'd all need to grow up now and face that fact.
I knew from that moment that HP's best days were behind us."
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