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Humble Fiorina declined 'most powerful woman in the world' post

She's still pretty amazing

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Stripped of her position atop the technology world, Carly Fiorina has morphed into a humbler, gentler globe-trotting celebrity speaker. Or so the Mercury News would have us believe.

A Merc puff piece from last week seems torn between presenting Fiorina as the ultimate jet-setter and portraying her as someone who became calm and pensive after learning a difficult lesson. Why even write such a story? Well, it's been about a year since HP gave Fiorina the boot.

"Slowly, she's been admitting some mistakes she made while at the helm of HP," the paper tells us about the material found in Fiorina's speeches, which cost more than $50,000 a pop.

And then the paper turns to Rich Tehrani, who hired Fiorina to speak at a conference.

"She wanted to make sure we didn't call her the most powerful woman in the world,'' Tehrani said. "She seemed beyond humble. She's put on this pedestal by so many people, and yet is more humble than the person sitting next to you. Maybe that has to do with not working. Retirement may relax you to such a degree that you're not stressed out anymore.''

We've always said that the ultimate sign of humility is asking not be called the most powerful member of your gender anymore. Of course, being kicked off the Fortune list of the 50 most powerful women in 2005 probably made that call a bit easier.

Part of Fiorina's return to humbleness includes the purchase of a $3.6m Washington, DC, home to complement a Los Altos home assessed years ago at being close to $4m.

And what Fiorina love-fest would be complete without an appearance from Dial-A-Quote - Rob Enderle - who having served in advisory roles at the likes HP, IBM and Dell always has a critical take on PC personalities.

"She has amazing vision,'' Enderle said.

And, still maintaining that the Compaq buy was a great idea, she seems to have a unique version of hindsight as well.

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