Shortly after former HP chief executive Carly Fiorina mentioned her interest in running in the 2016 U.S. presidential election during an MSNBC interview in December, Michael Link registered the unclaimed web domain CarlyFiorina.org and used it to shine a light on the now-official presidential hopeful's accomplishments at Hewlett-Packard, The Hill reported today.
Link, who happens to be an assistant director of digital strategy at the Service Employees International Union, used the site to let the world know that Fiorina, who officially announced her campaign for the 2016 presidential election today, laid off 30,000 employees during her six-year tenure at the company. He visualized the layoffs with 30,000 corresponding frowny-face emoticons that take a hilarious amount of time to scroll through.
The explanation ends with a quote that will likely haunt Fiorina's bid for the Republican nomination. All emphasis is from the original site:
That's 30,000 people she laid off. People with families. And what does she say she would have done differently?
"I would have done them all faster." - Carly Fiorina
The quote came from a 2005 profile of Fiorina in Fortune Magazine.
In his interview with The Hill, Link says the website was his own project that had nothing to do with his job with a union organization. In response to the website, a press secretary for Fiorina chalked it up to Democrats taking a shot at "Hillary Clinton's most effective critic since last year," according to The Hill.
The stunt will also lead many to read more deeply into Fiorina's record at HP, which includes the $19 billion merger with Compaq, which Fiorina pushed for in spite of public opposition from board members. The merger ultimately went through, cost HP to lose significant ground to Dell in the PC market, resulted in 17,000 of those 30,000 layoffs, and led to Fiorina's forced resignation from the company.
The HP board said Fiorina was asked to leave the company because of her "management style," and gave her a severance package of somewhere around $20 million. Unless she's since spent it all, she probably could have afforded to buy the domain name.