Ex-HP chief Fiorina to pen memoir about her career

Carly Fiorina as reached a deal with Penguin to write a memoir about her career, due out in late 2006.

Carly Fiorina has reached a deal to pen a memoir about her dramatic career, which went on hiatus in February following her ouster from Hewlett-Packard Co. after a turbulent five-year run as the company's chief executive.

Due out in late 2006 from Penguin Group USA's Portfolio imprint, Fiorina's book will blend writing about her career with her views on topics such as leadership, how women can thrive in business, and how technology will reshape the world, her publisher said.

In her trailblazing career, Fiorina rose from secretary to six-time topper of Fortune Magazine's "50 Most Powerful Women in Business" list. After gaining prominence by leading Lucent Technologies' initial public offering spin-off from AT&T, Fiorina was named HP's chief executive officer in 1999. Her vision for revitalising the company led to its controversial 2002 acquisition of Compaq -- which eventually prompted her forced departure from HP when, nearly three years later, the company still struggled to meet shareholders' performance expectations.

Portfolio already has one Fiorina book in its catalog: "Perfect Enough: Carly Fiorina and the Reinvention of Hewlett-Packard," by George Anders. A Publishers Weekly review of the 2003 book said it offered "workmanlike reportage on the events, but falls short of linking it to a big picture worth caring about and never rises to offer a standout story."

Portfolio didn't disclose the terms of its contract with Fiorina, but it's a good bet she isn't writing the book for the money. Fiorina picked up US$21 million cash as a severance payment when she left HP.

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Stacy Cowley

IDG News Service

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