Carly Fiorina (born Cara Carleton Sneed in Austin, Texas on September 6, 1954) will launch her presidential campaign under the Republican ticket on May 4. She is going to be the first candidate from the tech industry to take part in the 2016 campaign.
Fiorina – unlike others in Silicon Valley – has been an outspoken opponent of net neutrality principles, especially the FCC’s recent Title II decision. She also raised controversy when she claimed that California’s drought was a “man-made disaster” while referring to environmentalists’ influence on water use and retention policies. Also, she claims to personally oppose abortion, and has voted to ban gay marriage in California through the state’s Proposition 8.
In 1976, after completing her schooling at Charles E. Jordan High School in Durham, North Carolina, Fiorina graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and medieval history from Stanford University. She dropped out of the UCLA School of Law after attending one semester. In 1980, she received a Master of Business Administration in marketing from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. She also received a Master of Science in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1989.
She started her career as an executive at AT&T. In 1998, she handled the Lucent’s Global Service Provider division. From 1999 to 2005, Fiorina was tapped as the chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard. During her tenure at Lucent and HP, she was considered to be one of the most powerful women in the business. Fiorina was forced to resign from her position at HP in 2002 after a controversial merger with Compaq Computers didn’t meet expectations. Since the disaster, she has been labelled as one of the worst tech CEOs of all time.
After stepping down, her journey in politics began. Following her job as a commentator for Fox News, she served as a consultant to Republican John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. On November 2010, she was the Republican nominee for the United States Senate from California, but she lost it to incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer.
After quitting her job as CEO, Fiorina wrote her autobiography “Tough Choices” in 2006, elucidating her career and views on various topics like leadership, women in business, and the role of technology in the world.