Carly Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett-Packard

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, May 2, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.

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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Carly Fiorina has won and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Compaq is now a single company. She was crowing to shareholders and her own employees today about that in Cupertino, California, where she joins us right now. The head of Hewlett-Packard/Compaq, as it's simply now known as Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina. Ms. Fiorina, good to have you.

CARLY FIORINA, CEO, HEWLETT-PACKARD: Thank you. Nice to be here, Neil.

CAVUTO: You feel glad just to have this all behind you?

FIORINA: Well, I am excited about launching this new company. It is a great day, but it's the first of many great days, we hope.

CAVUTO: Now, obviously the street reaction has been positive looking forward to some of these changes, but surprised at the breadth of some of them, including jettisoning a lot of favorite little goodies that were at Hewlett-Packard before. Did you plan this to be as sweeping as it was?

FIORINA: Well, I am not sure what you mean by jettisoning little goodies, but one of the commitments that I made actually the day we announced this merger was that we would have product line road maps completed for all of our products for three years and available 30 days after we launch the new company.

We exceeded that commitment percent and rolled out those product line road maps today. We need to make the important calls about how we are going to be transitioning these product lines going forward. It is what our customers demand, so we feel very good about the product line road maps we've laid out, and importantly, the customers that we have shared them with already today and some yesterday feel equally good.

CAVUTO: Have you chatted or had a chance to talk to Walter Hewlett since all of this was settled?

FIORINA: No, sir, I haven't.

CAVUTO: Have you invited him back to the company or is that understood he is persona non grata.

FIORINA: Well, I don't think it is either one. I think we are focused on getting this new company underway. That is where my time and attention have been spent and it's where it will continue to be spent.

CAVUTO: So I know he is not on the board, but you have no intention of calling or talking to him or he to you?

FIORINA: Well, I would not necessarily say that. I would say that my attention over the past several weeks and last several months has been in gaining the opportunity to put this company together. And now my focus is on making sure that this company meets and exceeds its commitments to our customers and to our shareowners.

CAVUTO: Is it a tough sell to the workers, Carly? I mean, many of whom we were told — you don't know who to believe frankly — were scared about this and many of whom were against it. It's getting a lot of play, this Vanity Fair article that's coming out. Many of them were bitterly opposed to it.

FIORINA: Well, I think our employees have been, frankly, in three different places since this merger was announced. Many were excited about it from day one. Some could understand the potential but needed more information, needed to understand how it would affect them personally. And some, and it continues to be a minority, some were opposed to it.

However, I think that the vast majority of employees today, and Michael Capellas and I have just spent several hours with literally thousands of employees understand that the best thing for everyone now is to come together as one company and build a great company. It is the best thing for our employees. It is the best thing for our customers, and it's the best thing for our shareowners. And I think that is what the people of the new HP will do.

CAVUTO: Now, I do not want to get personal here, I mean, but a lot of these guys said very nasty things about you. And, again, I don't know how much credence to put in this Vanity Fair piece, Carly, so forgive me. But some of the comments that came out of that, like employees calling you the wicked witch of the East Coast and all of this, I mean, is it that bad? I mean, are some of these guys really angry with you?

FIORINA: I have not read the article, but, frankly, I cannot spend my time reading all of the things that people say about me. What I need to do is focus on doing my job, and my job is to build sustainable shareowner value. My job is to serve customers well. My job is to ensure that the new HP is a leader worthy of the aspirations and talents of the people of this company. And my job as well is to engage the hearts and minds of all of our employees. That is what I've been focused on for the last two and a half years and that's what I'll stay focused on.

CAVUTO: Still, it's the founders of the company, the heirs of the founders, who that you had these tense relations with. And I know life goes on and all of that, but do you find it unsettling now that as you try to move the company forward, that its very roots are called into question here?

FIORINA: Well, I think that one of the things that we are trying to do is move forward. It is important that we move forward. Certainly, I would not have wished the proxy contest on this company. It was difficult. It was distracting in many ways. But I also think it is true that we come out of this period as a united team. We come out of this period with great determination to be successful, and I think that is important.

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