CAMBRIDGE, Mass.Speaking to a packed auditorium of graduate students here at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, former Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Carly Fiorina told the group of future business leaders that issues of ethics will be among the hardest they tackle during the course of their careers.
On tour to promote her new book, "Tough Choices," which traces Fiorina's rise from her first job as a receptionist to her role as the leading executive at one of the world's largest IT companies, the former CEO made the ethics of leadership a central topic in her presentation to students attending one of her alma maters.
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At the beginning of her presentation, and the book, Fiorina elaborated on her very-public firing as HP's CEO in February 2005.
If she couldn't offer an authentic version of her perspective on the experience, the executive said she didn't believe people would take anything else that she said in the book seriously.
In addition to detailing her time at HP, and the challenges she faced in moving the company from its historic roots into its current business model, Fiorina repeatedly touched on the issue of executive ethics, specifically referencing the rapidly growing list of IT executives who have been accused of backdating stock options to increase their personal wealth.