Carly Fiorina, the first lady to lead a Fortune 20 business, is hoping to make history again by becoming the first female president of the United States. She has just announced her Republican nomination. Fiorina was a former chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard, which at the time was America’s 11th biggest company.
During her time at the reins, she was responsible for doubling revenue, but was sacked in 2005 after a boardroom battle. It is her business experience that will be her main selling point during her election campaign for the presidency position. Fiorina is very proud of her accomplishments during her tenure at Hewlett-Packard from July 1999 to February 2005. “We went from a market laggard to market leader,” Fiorina said. When she started at Hewlett-Packard, the company had sales of $42 billion and net earnings of $3.1 billion. At the time of her departure, Hewlett-Packard put up impressive sales of $87 billion and net earnings of $2.4 billion.
As for political success, it is a different story. The 60-year-old unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in California in 2010, losing to Barbara Boxer. Though, Fiorina has cited that she has the political skills and policy background to beat high-profile candidate Hillary Clinton. She has an uphill battle to win the presidency position if history repeats itself. The only people who have taken charge of the White House without previous elected office experience have been heroes of war.
Fiorina, however, has argued that she is more than capable of being the first female president of the United States, saying that her rise from secretary to chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard gives her a unique edge over other candidates. This will make her more relevant to voters, she argued, and a true outsider for the presidential position. Fiorina also believes she has the necessary expertise to reform bureaucracies, which is something that is critical in light of her stance that the U.S. government is one giant, corrupt, and unaccountable bureaucracy.
Her husband Frank is also no stranger to working through the ranks. He started off as a tow truck driver for a family-owned business before landing an executive position at AT&T.
Another interesting fact relating to Fiorina’s past is she is a law school dropout. She attended law school at the suggestion of her father, a federal appeals court judge, but dropped out after just one semester. She does, however, have graduate business degrees from MIT and Maryland, as well as an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and medieval history from Stanford.
The thing that will be most endearing to voters, though, is the fact that Fiorina, who may be the first female U.S. president, is a cancer survivor. In 2009, she underwent a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Fiorina is often approached by other cancer survivors, of which she said, “is a sisterhood.” If elected, her battle with cancer will add a real personal touch to a position that is often considered “out-of-touch” with the American people.
By Rebecca Brown