Golden Parachute

John McCain admits that the economy is not one of his strong suits, so one of McCain’s personal economic advisors is Carly Fiorina. She successfully ran the IPO of Lucent in 1996 and she was named by Fortune magazine as the most powerful woman in business in 1998. But she does not think John McCain or Sarah Palin would be qualified to run a business.

How hard could it be? Well, Fiorina, who successfully ran the IPO of Lucent then went on to smash HP into the ground. On her watch, HP’s market value was cut in half and the board of directors asked her to leave.

Now here’s what really gets me angry: failures are rewarded. Fiorina was awarded a $21 million dollar cash severance along with the ~$21 stock valuation she held (a valuation that would have been higher had she not wrecked the company). Is this what she thinks happens to people who loose their job? No wonder McCain thinks the economy is doing alright, the unemployment rate is higher than ever so clearly all those people have a nice severance hidden away.

The HP fiasco is personal too. My Dad’s aunt was an employee for HP for many years and one of the nicest people you will ever meet. She was within months of retirement when Fiorina led the merger with Compaq, and she was made redundant. Months away from a big party, cake, pension and health care, she was laid off.

Ultimately, a “Golden Parachute” is up to the company’s board to dole out but it’s encouraging to hear Barack put workers first in this situation:

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