In this morning’s tech news, Carly Fiorina, one of the most powerful women in the IT sector and CEO of Hewlett Packard, has been asked by the Board of HP to resign. She will step down at the end of the month.
The news has divided the tech community, with some believing that Fiorina’s management of the Compaq-HP merger was simply that – management, rather than vision. After merging the companies there was no clear path for future development; no new products or services on the market. Others believe that the company is less likely to have any vision as directed by the ambitions of the Board, than under Fiorina’s iron rule. In any case, it will be a busy day for the stockmarket and stakeholders in HP.
But beyond the business aspects of the leadership change, the role of women in IT comes once again under the scrutiny of commentators. Fiorina always presented herself as an equal with her colleagues in a dominantly masculine industry sector. But she always retained a sense of her femininity, and her leadership has formed the basis of many commentaries on the burgeoning opportunities for, and changing roles of, women in business.
I doubt if her resignation will change much in the way of leadership roles for women. But I am ready and resigned to the possibility that her sex will be discussed as an issue contributing to her departure. Sad, but likely.