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CARLY FIORINA

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Cara Carleton “Carly” Fiorina (née Sneed; September 6, 1954) is a former business executive and current Chair of the non-profit philanthropic organization Good360. Starting in 1980, Fiorina rose through the ranks to become an executive at AT&T and its equipment and technology spinoff, Lucent. As chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard (HP) from 1999 to 2005, she was the first woman to lead a company in the top 20 as ranked by Fortune magazine.

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In 2002, Fiorina undertook the biggest high-tech merger in history at the time with rival computer company Compaq, which made HP the world’s largest personal computer manufacturer. Following HP’s gain in market share as a result of the 2002 merger, Fiorina laid off thousands of U.S. employees, but by 2004 the number of employees was about the same as the pre-merger total. On February 9, 2005 the HP board of directors forced Fiorina to resign as chief executive officer and chairman, over disagreements about the company’s performance, disappointing earning reports, and her resistance to transferring authority to division heads. At that time, HP’s stock price had fallen by approximately half its value compared to when Fiorina had started, while the overall NASDAQ index had decreased by about a quarter owing to turbulence in the tech sector.

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After leaving HP, Fiorina served on the boards of several organizations and as an adviser to Republican John McCain‘s 2008 presidential campaign. She won a three-person race for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate from California in 2010, but lost the general election to incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer by 10 points.

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On May 4, 2015 Fiorina announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election.

 

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