The future of Carly Fiorina as chief executive of Hewlett Packard is now being openly discussed in Silicon Valley.
Even before last Thursday's shock announcement of thousands more layoffs, the coffee machine chit-chat had moved to on-the-record comments of support or lack thereof.
Fiorina, who was the first woman to become chief executive of one of the 30 Dow Industrials Index companies, certainly has her supporters. They say her only fault is the fact she took over at HP just a year before the bottom fell out of the US economy.
Detractors however claim that, gauging by Fiorina's proclamations to investors, she doesn't seem to know how HP's business is doing.
For instance, in December 200, just after HP had produced disappointing results for the previous quarter, Fiorina brushed those results aside and predicted a bright future during 2001, forecasting 15 per cent growth.
Less than a month later, Fiorina said the company had got its forecast totally wrong.
"Frankly, December was like somebody turned the lights out," she told analysts, who in the main hadn't trusted her earlier figures and had already downgraded the company.
Fiorina's credibility has never really recovered from that moment and her forecasting hasn't improved.
Last month she said revenues for the upcoming quarter would be flat, down 5 per cent. On Thursday, she said they would be down as much as 16 per cent.
Unlike her predecessors, Fiorina cannot count on the support of HP's workforce. She has thousands upon thousands of detractors and they receive paycheques from the company.
Only stellar results would have convinced the engineering-centric company that it was all right to have a marketing person running the company.
However, SG Cowen analyst Richard Chu says Fiorina has done a good job compared to her peers.
After all, look at what has happened to the stock prices of Silicon Valley's other favourites such as Cisco, Sun Microsystems and Oracle, all of which have fallen further than HP.
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