Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Garden Party part 4: Larry Sonsini leads valley lovefest for Carly Fiorina . . .

Posted by Tom Foremski - June 17, 2005

. . . too little, a bit late

By Tom Foremski for SiliconValleyWatcher

Sonsini.jpgLarry Sonsini, Silicon Valley's uber-uber lawyer, introduced Carly Fiorina. He said lots and lots of nice things. He noted Ms Fiorina had helped spin-out Lucent Technologies, the largest IPO in history, and she handled an extremely tough job at HP.

Mr Sonsini, looking very debonair, in a well tailored light gray suit, spoke for almost as long as Ms Fiorina. He succeeded in establishing his presence at nearly every critical juncture of HP and Ms Fiorina's story. He was present at nearly every major decision making process. He said Ms Fiorina had to deal with changing company culture, the worst downturn in the tech industry, and executing the largest IT merger.

"Some called it two garbage trucks colliding, but I won't say that," he said, after saying it.

He was referring to a Scott McNealy quote from years back about the HP/Compaq merger. But why bring it up and embarrass two top guests? Because he can I would assume.

Ms Fiorina graciously took the podium and spoke for maybe ten minutes, the shortest speech of the night. She spoke of Silicon Valley in the terms HP people would recognize, that these things that we do here in Silicon Valley are about people, and that profits enable companies to do good thigs, invoking Dave Packard's philosophy.

[This might seem ironic to those ex-HP-ers thrown out by the tough decisions she had to make. But, they weren't the audience that evening, she was speaking to the people that create and profit from the Silicon Valley culture of expendibility.]

It was good to see Ms Fiorina celebrated by SDForum. But, when she was running HP, she had few friends in and among the mansions of Woodside, Silicon Valley's elite neighborhood.

[I have a video of her speech that I'll post as soon as I figure out how to do it!]

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