Carly Fiorina

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Carly Fiorina (2015)
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Cara Carleton "Carly" Fiorina (* 6. September 1954 in Austin , Texas as Cara Carleton Sneed ) is an American politician and former manager . The humanities graduate was the first woman to head a company listed in Fortune Magazine's top 20 . From 1999 to 2005 she was Chief Executive Officer of the American technology company Hewlett-Packard and in 2002 carried out the controversial takeover of competitor Compaq .

Fiorina is politically active for the Republican Party and was one of the advisors to John McCain during his presidential candidacy in 2008 . She held leading positions in government security and intelligence services and ran in California in 2010 for a seat in the US Senate and in the party primary for the 2016 US presidential election .

Working life


Fiorina attended Stanford University and received her Bachelor's degree in Medieval Studies and Philosophy . She studied law for one semester at the University of California, Los Angeles . She then studied economics at the University of Maryland and received an MBA . She later took a career break to complete a year-long management degree at the MIT Sloan School of Management .


Fiorina began her management career in sales at AT&T / Longlines and later moved to AT & T / Network Systems, which became the independent company Lucent Technologies after AT&T was broken up.

Fiorina as CEO of HP (2004)

In July 1999, Fiorina assumed the position of CEO of Hewlett-Packard and in January 2000 also took over the chairmanship of the board of directors . Her choice was commented on in the press as surprising because she allegedly did not have sufficient industry knowledge as an outsider. Fiorina saw her main task in the centralization, consolidation and sales orientation of the decentralized company, which is characterized by an engineering culture. In order to gain market leadership in the PC and server market, she carried out the takeover of Compaq in 2002 , which met with rejection in the industry and caused the share prices of both companies to fall sharply for a short time.

Fiorina remained controversial during her time at Hewlett-Packard, despite her success in increasing sales and consolidating the company's finances. Among other things, she was accused of a lack of industry knowledge and extensive layoffs (15,000 employees had lost their jobs by the end of 2003). Management experts compare their performance at Hewlett-Packard with Lou Gerstner's turnaround from IBM . From 2000 to 2005, Fiorina was named the most powerful woman in business for six years in a row by US business magazine Fortune .

After internal disputes with the Board of Directors of Hewlett-Packard about the disclosure of confidential information to the press, the latter dismissed Fiorina on February 9, 2005 without giving a reason. Her severance pay totaled more than $ 21 million.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, she supported the National Security Agency and held a leading position on the Defense Business Board of the Pentagon and the External Advisory Board of the Central Intelligence Agency .

In the fall of 2006 she published her autobiography under the title Tough Choices (literally "Difficult decisions", title of the German edition: With hard bandages ).


Fiorina is a member of the Republican Party . In 2003, she was part of a group that advised California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on the composition of his government. In the 2008 presidential campaign , she supported John McCain . In August 2009, she announced her interest in running for the election of the California representative in the US Senate and then her candidacy in November. On June 8, 2010, she was elected Republican challenger to Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer with 56.5% of the votes cast , against whom she then lost in November of the same year with 43.3% of the vote. In early May 2015, she announced her candidacy for president. Due to poor results in the first two primaries , Fiorina withdrew her application on February 10, 2016.

The Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz nominated Fiorina in the 2016 primary campaign on April 28, 2016 as a running mate and candidate for the office of vice president. While this is rather uncommon in election campaigns, since candidates usually only announce their candidates for the vice-presidency when they have already been determined as a candidate, Cruz unusually had the chance of victory up to the penultimate primary and wanted to underline his ambitions. However, after his poor performance at the primary in Indiana on May 3, 2016, he gave up the candidacy.

In April 2017 it became known from Fiorina's surroundings that she was aiming for a candidacy for the US Senate in Virginia against the mandate holder Tim Kaine in the 2018 election, but decided not to run in September 2017: outside of the "system" she could achieve more. In August 2020, Fiorina announced that she would vote for Joe Biden , Democratic Party candidate in the 2020 presidential election .


  • Carly Fiorina: Tough Choices. A memoir. Portfolio, New York 2006, ISBN 1-59184-133-X .
  • Carly Fiorina: With hard bandages. The autobiography. Campus, Frankfurt am Main 2006, ISBN 3-593-38274-1 .


  • George Anders: Perfect Enough. Carly Fiorina and the Reinvention of Hewlett-Packard. Portfolio, New York 2003, ISBN 1-59184-003-1 .
  • Carleton S. Fiorina , in: Internationales Biographisches Archiv 10/2005 of March 12, 2005, in the Munzinger archive ( beginning of article freely accessible)

Individual evidence

  1. 5 Interesting Facts About Carly Fiorina , accessed September 20, 2015
  2. Biography on , accessed September 20, 2015
  3. Behind Fortune's Most Powerful Women . In: Fortune , March 23, 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2015. 
  4. Thomas Fischermann: High-tech at the lowest level . In: Die Zeit , No. 12/2002, p. 29
  5. Brad King and Michelle Delio: HP employees celebrate the replacement of Fiorina . Technology Review , February 2005
  6. plus stock options: Fiorina Exiting Hewlett-Packard With More Than $ 42 Million - NZT 2005
  7. Michael Isikoff, Carly Fiorina defends Bush-era torture and spying, calls for more transparency , Yahoo News (September 28, 2015).
  8. Fiorina's Time at HP Gets a Close Look After launching bid for president, ex-CEO defends 'tough choices' at computing giant . In: The Wall Street Journal , May 4, 2015. Retrieved May 15, 2015. 
  9. ^ The CEO and the CIA . In: National Review , May 5, 2015. Retrieved May 15, 2015. 
  10. Carly Fiorina Begins Formal Process Of Exploring Bid For US Senate (press release of August 18, 2009)
  11. Carly Fiorina Announces Run For United States Senate (press release November 4, 2009)
  12. Election Results ( Memento of August 12, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) (California Secretary of State)
  15. Carly Fiorina: Top manager wants to be US President. In: Spiegel Online . May 4, 2015, accessed on July 13, 2015 (report on the 2016 presidential election ).
  16. US Republicans: Christie and Fiorina give up. . Spiegel Online, February 10, 2016, accessed on the same day
  17. U US primaries: Ted Cruz introduces Carly Fiorina as possible Vice President . Spiegel Online, April 28, 2016, accessed on the same day
  18. Jonathan Martin, Patrick Healy: Donald Trump All but Clinches Nomination With Indiana Win; Cruz Quits. In: The New York Times , May 3, 2016.
  19. Miranda Green: Adviser: Carly Fiorina 'strongly considering' Virginia Senate run. In: CNN , April 18, 2017 (English).
  20. ^ Andrew Kaczynski: Virginia Senate race: Carly Fiorina rules out run, Jim Gilmore 'considering' candidacy. In: , September 8, 2017 (English).
  21. Andrew Sole Santander: All The Republicans Who Have Endorsed Joe Biden For President. In: August 24, 2020, accessed on August 25, 2020 .

Web links

Commons : Carly Fiorina  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files