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SAN FRANCISCO — Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of computer and printer maker Hewlett-Packard Co., has signed on as a contributor with Fox News’ soon-to-launch business news channel, the media company announced Tuesday.
Fiorina was one of corporate America’s most divisive figures during nearly six years at Palo Alto-based HP. Fox did not specify her role at the new channel, which debuts next week.
“We are proud to have her join FBN as a contributor,” Kevin Magee, Fox News’ executive vice president, said in a statement. “Carly Fiorina is one of the foremost business leaders of our time.”
HP severed its ties with Fiorina in February 2005 amid concern that benefits from her hard-won $24.2 billion acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp. in 2002 were not materializing quickly enough.
Her firing netted Fiorina a severance package of more than $21 million and helped fuel the publication last year of her best-selling memoir, “Tough Choices.”
Of her new affiliation with Fox News, Fiorina said in a statement that she’s “pleased to have the opportunity to continue to speak out on issues of vital concern to our economy and our nation.”
Fox News, an arm of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. media conglomerate, is looking to shake up the business news industry with the Fox Business Channel, slated to launch Oct. 15 in about 34 million homes as a competitor to CNBC, which is owned by General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal unit.
Fox is billing the new channel as accessible to everyday investors while relevant for seasoned stock pickers. It is launching as parent News Corp. buys Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, for $5 billion.
Fiorina joins a cast stocked with veteran journalists and financial professionals from Fox and other broadcast and print media outlets.
Fiorina, known for her flamboyant personality, was replaced at HP by the more low-key Mark Hurd, previously CEO of NCR Corp. Hurd was brought in to revive HP’s sagging stock price and improve morale.
Despite the turmoil during her tenure, some analysts say Fiorina deserves some of the credit for HP’s recent successes.
The company is now the world’s No. 1 seller of PCs, having outstripped struggling rival Dell Inc. It is expected to crack $100 billion in sales this year for the first time as it continues to rake in profits from its crown jewel product, lucrative printer ink.
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