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Fiorina Defends Compaq Merger as H-P Plans PC Spin-Off

Carly Fiorina
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Carly Fiorina

Former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina defended the biggest deal of her tenure—H-P's merger with Compaq—even as her old company plans to spin off the personal computer (PC) business and focus on enterprise software.

"The merger was an unqualified success in its execution and in delivering what we promised to shareholders, which was a leading PC business, a leading server business, a leading services business, and continuation of leadership in the printing business that created a diversified portfolio that weathered all storms," she told CNBC Monday.

H-P said last week it will discontinue its TouchPad tablet computer and phones and may spin off its PC unit. It announced it wants to buy British software company Autonomy for $10.2 billion.

"What the strategy looks like is the board and the CEO and the management team are doing what they should be doing, which is focusing on the future," Fiorina said. "They’ve made a judgment that the...nature of the business is changing, and they want to make their bets elsewhere. Specifically, it looks to me they're making their bets in the enterprise space. H-P has a very strong enterprise presence thanks, in no small part, to the Compaq merger."

She refused to discuss the direction of the company, saying, "I’m not endorsing anything. It is not my place to comment on this CEO, the previous CEO, or any other CEO."

However, she did say that it is "one thing to have a strategy, it’s another thing to communicate and execute that strategy. The company has to work on communicating. So far these are announcements of intentions, and that is unsettling to investors."

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