This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," October 10, 2006, that was edited for clarity.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, Carly Fiorina, once the powerful female executive on the planet; then, she was canned in a boardroom boot.
Nearly two years later, Carly is back in the spotlight with a new tell-all book called "Tough Choices" — instantly rocketed up the bestseller charts — just as her former company, Hewlett-Packard, is embroiled in a spy scandal.
Carly Fiorina joins me right now in a rare one-on-one chat.
Good to have you. Congratulations on all this.
CARLY FIORINA, FORMER HEWLETT-PACKARD CEO: Great to be with you, Neil. Thanks.
CAVUTO: You timed this, didn't you, the scandal, everything else, with a book coming out?
You know, sometimes, things just happen. I finished writing this book on March 31. We had planned to launch it the week that we are launching it. So...
And the fact of the matter, you don't address the leak issue, per se. You — you talk a little bit about some talkative board members who might have been talking to other people, and — and damning you. But this was sort of like a — to the eyes of a public, a recent phenomena. Was it?
FIORINA: Well, I think one of the things I talk about in my book is a board that became dysfunctional, because personal agendas and personal animosities became more important than the larger issues of the company. And I think, in some ways, what you are seeing play out now is some of that same dysfunction, in a very sad and, frankly, shocking way.
CAVUTO: All right.
But, now, when you were looking into boardroom leaks yourself — it happens in companies all the time, as have you stated. But — but getting the phone records of journalists, going to the degree that — that some...
CAVUTO: ... Hewlett-Packard members are charged with doing...
CAVUTO: ... it's pretty bad stuff, right?
FIORINA: Well, look, I think you deal with tough issues with straight talk, right up on the table.
And, so, when we were faced with a leak, we had — I had direct conversations with board members, which were uncomfortable for some of them. And, then, I had our outside attorney have more direct conversations with them. But it was all about a direct conversation.
CAVUTO: Well, what is a direct conversation?
CAVUTO: Would you say, look, are you talking to the media? Would it be that?
Well, we had a board call, where I informed the board of what happened. And I said, look, we can't function as a board if we don't have confidence and trust among each other. To me, the leak was symptomatic of a broader problem, board dysfunction. And, so, we had to have a direct conversation up on the table, face to face, about board dysfunction.
It wasn't spying on people, or whatever seems to have happened here. It was...
CAVUTO: But it was, right?
FIORINA: Not in my time.
FIORINA: Not in my time.
CAVUTO: So, if you are a ticked-off CEO, and you know some members of the board are pulling a Judas on you, you want to find out which ones, right?
FIORINA: Well, you know, what was most important to me, knowing that we were aligned on our strategy and on the operational plan for 2005 that had just been unanimously approved, what was important to me was, as members of an organization, the board, we had to talk directly with one another about why some of us were choosing to speak outside the boardroom, when they weren't speaking inside the boardroom.
CAVUTO: Maybe they just didn't like you. You know what I'm saying?
Now, I remember distinctly when you came over to — to Hewlett-Packard. And everyone was like — you know, who is this hard-charging, young go-getter? You automatically identified as hot-shot female, or outstanding female. You even address how you found that kind of insulting in the book.
Nevertheless, that's how you were viewed. And — and — and I think you were like a bull in the china shop when you came over there. Were you?
FIORINA: Well, my mandate was to transform a company.
And it was an iconic company with a deep culture. And the transformation of that company, from a lagging bureaucracy to a competitive, leading meritocracy, took an incredible amount of work. And it's natural...