Carly Fiorina, August 2, 2004
|Born||Cara Carleton Sneed
September 6, 1954
Austin, Texas, U.S.
|Alma mater||Stanford University (BA)
University of Maryland, College Park (MBA)
MIT Sloan School of Management (MS)
|Spouse(s)||Todd Bartlem (1977–1984)
Frank Fiorina (since 1985)
Carly Fiorina (born Cara Carleton Sneed; September 6, 1954) is an American former business executive and was the Republican nominee for the United States Senate from California in 2010. Fiorina served as chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 to 2005 and previously was an executive at AT&T and its equipment and technology spinoff, Lucent.
Fiorina was considered one of the most powerful women in business during her tenure at Lucent and Hewlett-Packard. While she was chief executive at HP, the company weathered the collapse of the dot-com bubble, although the stock lost half of its value throughout her tenure. In 2002, the company completed a contentious merger with rival computer company Compaq, which made HP the world's largest personal computer manufacturer. In 2005, Fiorina was forced to resign as chief executive officer and chairman of HP following "differences [with the board of directors] about how to execute HP's strategy."
In 2008, Fiorina served as an advisor to Republican presidential candidate John McCain. In 2010, Fiorina waged an unsuccessful challenge against incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer of California in a 2010 Senate election.
Fiorina was born as Cara Carleton Sneed in Austin, Texas, on September 6, 1954, the daughter of Joseph Tyree Sneed III – a law school professor, dean, and federal judge – and Madelon Montross (née Juergens), a portrait and abstract artist.
Education and early career
Fiorina attended Channing School in London, and later attended Charles E. Jordan High School in Durham, North Carolina, for her senior year; the family relocated frequently during this time. She received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and medieval history from Stanford University in 1976. During her summers, she worked at a hair salon and as a secretary for Kelly Services. She attended the UCLA School of Law in 1976 but dropped out after one semester and worked as a receptionist for six months at a real estate firm Marcus & Millichap, moving up to a broker position before leaving for Italy, where she taught English. Fiorina received a Master of Business Administration in marketing from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park in 1980. She received a Master of Science in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management under the Sloan Fellows program in 1989.
AT&T and Lucent
She joined AT&T in 1980 as a management trainee and rose to become a senior vice president overseeing the company's hardware and systems division. In 1995, Fiorina led corporate operations for the spinoff from AT&T of Lucent, reporting to Lucent chief executive Henry B. Schacht; she played a key role in planning and implementing the 1996 initial public offering of stock and company launch strategy. Later in 1996, Fiorina was appointed president of Lucent's consumer products business, reporting to Rich McGinn, president and chief operating officer. In 1997, she was appointed chairman of Lucent's consumer communications joint venture with Philips consumer communications. Later that year, she was named group president for the global service provider business at Lucent, overseeing marketing and sales for the company's largest customer segment.
In 1998, Fortune magazine named her the "most powerful woman in business" in its inaugural listing, and she was included in the Time 100 in 2004 and remained in the Fortune listing throughout her tenure at HP. Fiorina was #10 on the Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women for 2004. She became regarded by many as being the first woman to head up a Fortune 20 company, and to have overcome the metaphorical "glass ceiling".
In July 1999, Hewlett-Packard Company named Fiorina chief executive officer succeeding Lewis Platt and prevailing over the internal candidate Ann Livermore. She became the first woman to lead a Fortune 20 company. Fiorina immediately became a highly visible chief executive, and remained so throughout her tenure at the company with a vast array of engineering talent at her disposal.
Fiorina proceeded to reorganize HP, and merge the part she kept with the PC maker Compaq. Although the decision to spin off the company's technical equipment division predated her arrival, one of her first major responsibilities as chief executive was overseeing the separation of the unit into the standalone Agilent Technologies. Fiorina proposed the acquisition of the technology services arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers for almost $14 billion but withdrew the bid after a lackluster reception from Wall Street. Following the collapse of the dot-com bubble, the PwC consulting arm was acquired by IBM for less than $4 billion. In 2001, Fiorina was named one of the thirty most powerful women in America by Forbes magazine. In early September 2001, in the wake of the bursting of the Tech Bubble, Fiorina announced the controversial merger with Compaq, a leading competitor in the industry. Fiorina fought for the merger, and it was implemented despite strong opposition from board member Walter Hewlett (the son of company co-founder William Hewlett) who claimed that the merger was being pursued by Fiorina in desperation to make a strategic decision and to give her some breathing space from Wall Street.
He launched a proxy fight against Fiorina's efforts, which failed. The Compaq merger created the world's largest personal computer manufacturer by units shipped, a position the company lost in 2003 and regained in 2006.
Fiorina presented herself as a realist regarding the effects of globalization. She has been a strong proponent, along with other technology executives, of the expansion of the H-1B visa program. In January 2004, at a meeting to "head off rising protectionist sentiment in Congress," Fiorina said: "There is no job that is America's God-given right anymore. We have to compete for jobs as a nation." While Fiorina argued that the only way to "protect U.S. high-tech jobs over the long haul was to become more competitive [in the United States]," her comments prompted "strong reactions" from some technology workers who argued that lower wages outside the United States encouraged the offshoring of American jobs. Fiorina responded against protectionism in an editorial in the Wall Street Journal, writing that while "America is the most innovative country," it would not remain so if the country were to "run away from the reality of the global economy."
In early January 2005, the Hewlett-Packard board of directors discussed with Fiorina a list of issues that the board had regarding the company's performance. The board proposed a plan to shift her authority to HP division heads, which Fiorina resisted. A week after the meeting, the confidential plan was leaked to the Wall Street Journal. Less than a month later, the board brought back Tom Perkins and forced Fiorina to resign as chairman and chief executive officer of the company. The company's stock jumped on news of Fiorina's departure. Under the company's agreement with Fiorina, which was characterized as a golden parachute by some[by whom?], she was paid slightly more than $20 million in severance.
Judgments on Fiorina's tenure at HP are mixed. In 2008, Infoworld grouped her with a list of products and ideas as flops, declaring her to be the "anti-Steve Jobs" for reversing the goodwill of American engineers and for alienating existing customers. In 2008, Loren Steffy of The New York Times suggested that the EDS acquisition well after Fiorina's tenure was evidence that her actions as CEO were justified.
After resigning from HP, Fiorina was named to several board memberships. She was named to the boards of directors at Revolution Health Group and computer security company Cybertrust. The following year, she became a member of the board of directors for chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. She joined the board of trustees of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum. She is an Honorary Fellow of the London Business School. In July 2012, Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia appointed her to the James Madison University Board of Visitors.
Fiorina received significant media exposure before and during her tenure at HP, speaking at many business conferences and appearing on the cover of numerous business magazines. In the years since leaving HP, Fiorina has maintained her visibility in the media. In a commencement address in May 2005, Fiorina said about her tenure at Hewlett-Packard:
The worst thing I could have imagined happened. I lost my job in the most public way possible, and the press had a field day with it all over the world. And guess what? I'm still here. I am at peace and my soul is intact.
During an interview with Charlie Rose, Fiorina said she believed that her leadership was strong during her tenure with Hewlett-Packard, and that the Compaq merger was a critical step for the company, although the merger was misunderstood by the board of directors. In October 2006, Fiorina released an autobiography, Tough Choices, about her career and her views on such issues as what constitutes a leader, how women can thrive in business, and the role technology will continue to play in reshaping the world. Fiorina signed on with the Fox Business Network to become a business commentator on the network. She is Chairman and CEO of Carly Fiorina Enterprises where, according to her political campaign Facebook page, she is "bringing her unique perspective and experience to bear on the challenging issues of our world, championing economic growth and empowerment for a more prosperous and secure world". She has appeared at many public events. She rang the opening bell of the Wall Street stock market on the official day of the HP-Compaq merger and in 2000 she was the ceremonial host opening the largest EasyInternetcafé at Times Square and the opening of the Epcot ride Mission: SPACE. In 2004, Fiorina was a member of the President's Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy, which produced a report for George W. Bush. She has appeared many times on TV such as in 2007 on Real Time with Bill Maher.
Fiorina has and continues to be involved with many business leadership activities including:
- Leadership summits run by Bill Hybels
- Business Executives for National Security
- The Wall Street Journal's D Conference (All Things Digital) in Carlsbad, California
- Texas Conference for Women
- Texas Monthly Talks
- The Women's Conference
- Willow Creek Association
- Willow Creek Community Church
In 2008, Fiorina worked for Senator John McCain's presidential campaign. In early 2008, Fiorina was referred to in media sources as a potential vice presidential candidate, and The New York Times noted that while she didn't want to run, she is an executive who could possibly become a candidate for President. On March 7, 2008, Fiorina was named fundraising chairman for the Republican National Committee's "Victory" initiative. She was also a "point person" for the McCain campaign on issues related to business and economic affairs. Fiorina's severance package from Hewlett-Packard in 2005, was viewed by some as a political liability during the campaign.
On September 3, 2008, Fiorina addressed the Republican National Convention. Earlier that day, she defended the selection of Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate and said that Palin was being subjected to sexist attacks, a charge she repeated a few days later in response to one of the Saturday Night Live parodies of Sarah Palin. In response to questions during a radio interview on September 15, 2008, she stated that Palin lacks the experience to run a major company like Hewlett-Packard, "[b]ut that's not what she's running for. Running a corporation is a different set of things." Fiorina later amended her comment, stating that none of the candidates on either ticket had the experience to run a major corporation. After media coverage of her comments, one of her scheduled appearances on behalf of the campaign was canceled, although Fiorina continued to chair the party's fundraising committee.
On November 4, 2009, Fiorina formally announced her candidacy in the 2010 Senate election in a bid to unseat incumbent Barbara Boxer. Fiorina's campaign in the Republican primary for that seat received a number of endorsements, including one from Sarah Palin in the form of a Facebook note. Her campaign ad about Republican rival Tom Campbell featuring a "demon sheep" created international, mostly negative, publicity. After the ad went viral, the California Democratic Party created a parody of the ad depicting Fiorina herself as a demon sheep.
On June 8, 2010, Fiorina won the Republican primary election for Senate with over 50 percent of the vote, beating Campbell and State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore.
The Los Angeles Times research of public records indicated Fiorina had failed to vote in most elections. Fiorina responded: "I'm a lifelong registered Republican but I haven't always voted, and I will provide no excuse for it. You know, people die for the right to vote. And there are many, many Californians and Americans who exercise that civic duty on a regular basis. I didn't. Shame on me."
The Los Angeles Times noted that Fiorina has conservative positions on certain social issues. She personally opposed abortion and, as a private citizen, stated that she voted for Proposition 8, which defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman, overturning a court ruling that same-sex couples had a right to marry. Following an August 4, 2010, federal court ruling that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, Fiorina expressed disagreement with the ruling, saying that California voters spoke clearly against same-sex unions when a majority approved the proposition in 2008. She had stated that she opposed litmus tests for Supreme Court nominations and did not favor a federal "personhood" amendment. Fiorina had called climate change a "serious issue" but claimed that the science surrounding global warming is inconclusive, saying "I think we should have the courage to examine the science on an ongoing basis." In a campaign ad, Fiorina also likened Boxer's concerns over global warming to worrying about "the weather." She accepted large contributions from the coal industry as well as Koch Industries Fiorina opposed the cap and trade legislation supported by Boxer, and thought efforts to control greenhouse gases would cost 3 million jobs and are "massively destructive".
Sarah Palin was set to appear at a GOP fundraiser two weeks ahead of the November 2nd election, but neither Meg Whitman nor Fiorina – both big-name Republicans – planned to attend. Eventually, the prediction that Palin's primary endorsement over the better known, moderate and presumably more electable Campbell would jeopardize her general election candidacy apparently proved accurate.
By October 22, when it became public that she had loaned $1 million to her campaign, Fiorina had contributed $6.5 million to her own race.
Boxer won the general election, defeating Fiorina 52.2% to 42.2%.
Fiorina continues to advocate for Republican and conservative causes. On February 8, 2013, she gave a keynote address at the Ripon Society’s 2013 Legislative and Communications Directors Symposium on Leadership at Mount Vernon, advocating for several issues including simplifying and reforming the federal tax code, promoting the use of business technology in government, and helping small businesses.
Fiorina has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2016, for Governor of California in 2018 and for President in 2016. She has not ruled out running for any such office.
Fiorina (then Cara Carleton Sneed) married Todd Bartlem, a Stanford classmate, in June 1977. They divorced in 1984. In 1985, she married AT&T executive Frank Fiorina. It was the second marriage for both. She helped to raise her two stepdaughters Traci and Lori Ann. They attempted to have children together but, as Fiorina puts it: "That wasn't God's plan." Fiorina and her husband live in Mason Neck, Virginia.
On February 20, 2009, Fiorina was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a double mastectomy at Stanford Hospital on March 2, 2009, followed by chemotherapy, which caused her to temporarily lose her hair, and later radiation therapy. She was given "an excellent prognosis for a full recovery." Early in her campaign for the United States Senate seat held by Barbara Boxer, Fiorina told a group of supporters: "I have to say that after chemotherapy, Barbara Boxer just isn't that scary anymore."
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Carly Fiorina.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Carly Fiorina|
- Carly Fiorina Enterprises
- Carly For California
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Campaign contributions at OpenSecrets.org
Interviews and speeches
- Fiorina's keynote speech, given at MIT (October 11, 2002)
- Video timeline of tenure, compiled by CNET (February 10, 2005)
- Interview with Leslie Stahl, from 60 Minutes (October 8, 2006)
- Fiorina interview, with Forbes (October 11, 2006)
- Discussion of Tough Choices, from FORA.tv (October 19, 2006)
- Management and leadership series, from Stanford University (April 5, 2007)
- Stanford interview, from iinnovate (May 16, 2007)
- Web 2.0 Summit 09: A conversation on YouTube from O'Reilly Media (October 22, 2009) Alternate URL
|Chairman of Hewlett-Packard
Patricia C. Dunn
Lewis E. Platt
|Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett-Packard
|President of Hewlett-Packard
|Party political offices|
|Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from California
|Vice-Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee