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Upper management position assignment Essay

    The most coveted positions within a company – usually upper management – are also the most challenging positions. Managers must lead their employees while still making decisions that benefit the company. Should an executive decide to leave, they are taking with them a great deal of experience and knowledge about the company. One might assume that the company would be hard-pressed to recover from such a loss, but this is not always the case. In their positions within a company, “leaders help employees learn about the organization and how it functions…” (Guarrero, 1998, p.1) For this reason, companies can continue to thrive and profit even through the loss of key employees.

    Carly Fiorina was the chairman and chief executive at Hewlett-Packard before tendering her resignation in February of 2005. In an interview with CBS news, Fiorina admitted that she quit before the board could fire her. A memo to HP employees from Robert Wayman, HP’s CFO (and interim chief executive) stated that, “in her six years as CEO, Carly has revitalized the company. She had a strategic vision that has given HP the capabilities to compete and win.” If Fiorina was such an asset to Hewlett-Packard, why would the

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board want her to leave?

    The answer to that question is also the answer to the question of why anyone with such experience and accolades would be ousted at the peak of success. The answer is simple: on their way up the corporate ladder (and in order to maintain their current position) executives must make tough decisions which may increase revenue but will ruffle feathers at the same time. Such was the case with Fiorini. HP had been regarded as a family firm, but that ended with Fiorini’s cutthroat approach to business – including a hostile takeover of Compaq in 2001. Fiorini’s departure led the way for Hewlett-Packard to return to a family-friendly way of doing business while still maintaining profitability. Sometimes, the ousting of a leader is just what the company needs in order to grow within the industry.

Works Cited:

    Guarrero, C. A. (1998, October). The Leadership Challenge. Security Management, 42, 27+.

Oates, John (2005 Feb 9). Carly Fiorina Quits. The Register, Retrieved Oct 27 2006, from http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/02/09/carly_fiorina_goes/

Stahl, Leslie (2005 Feb 5). Fiorina Comments on Public Firing. Retrieved October 29, 2006, from CBS.com Web site: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/10/05/60minutes/main2069703.shtml

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