Carly Fiorina as a tech spokesperson

News outlets are reporting that Carly Fiorina suspended her presidential campaign today.

I saw Carly at a keynote she gave at an Oracle World conference shortly after she became CEO of HP.

I was working with the HP telecom team in Cupertino at the time and several of us headed up to San Francisco to support HP’s participation at the event and to hear and see Carly speak.

I was looking forward to her keynote because I had been paying attention to her career in telecom and – given my background in promoting women leaders – had a lot of respect for her groundbreaking role as the first woman to lead a major company as CEO.

While I didn’t pay close attention to Carly’s presidential campaign speeches, she did wow as an engaging and high-energy spokesperson when she talked about technology issues and trends during her Oracle World keynote.

She got a rock star welcome and did a great job enthusiastically communicating industry and HP messages throughout her speech. I gave her keynote a grade of A for content, delivery, timing and style. I thought it was great.

Things were changing quickly at HP when that keynote took place.

My HP colleagues were more than a little fearful speculating about where the company was heading. Those fears turned out to be justified as thousands of HP employees eventually lost their jobs during Carly’s tenure as CEO.

Much of Carly’s time at HP was painful for many to experience and watch. But even with the turmoil, Carly Fiorina remains on my top ten list of best keynote speakers in the global technology sector. – Russ DeVeau