So Carly Fiorina was fired, and was given a $21 millions severance package for failing the merger of HP and Compaq, as many anticipated would happen anyway.
Regardless of the outrageous "compensation for failing" -which is downright sickening and shows the dark side of modern capitalism- this is to be compared with the success so far of the Renault-Nissan merger, which I believe should be regarded as a very good -if not best- business practice. To me the main difference lies in the figure of the CEO, and his/her egomania. For Carly Fiorina of HP, the merger with Compaq was a personal challenge. It had to happen as fast as possible and driven from the top-down. For Louis Schweitzer of Renault, a much more low-profile person who had the failure of the Renault-Volvo deal in mind, the merger with Nissan was to happen in due time after
a) Nissan was succesfully turned around
b) the corporate cultures of Renault and Nissan were driven close enough.
The reality is that it takes time and determination to merge two cultures. You just don't command it just because you're the boss.
Human beings are usually fascinated by egomaniacs and dictators - the willingness of man to obey is unfathomed - And yet dictatorships always end up in disaster, just because many brains in parallel always outwit the single brain, however bright.
Incidentally, French capitalism has won a battle here. Commentators tend to downplay the oligopolistic pratices of French business, and to mock the business practices of our country. I often do myself. But in the specific case of Renault-Nissan, it's "hats off". Let's just hope that Carlos Ghosn will stay cold-blooded and avoid becoming an egomaniac himself, isolated from reality by a thick layer of obedient courtmen, now that he is worshipped as a god-like figure.