Here’s a look at key things to know about Carly Fiorina as she steps into the 2016 Republican presidential campaign, expected Monday.
Fiorina, 60, a law-school dropout who endured illness and deep personal loss, rose from a job as secretary to become CEO of what was at the time the world’s largest technology company, Hewlett-Packard.
The company’s revenue doubled and its annual growth quadrupled during her tenure at Hewlett-Packard but she was fired in 2005, a time of infighting on the board and slipping stock prices.
She is a breast-cancer survivor and adoptive mother of an adult daughter who died of drug and alcohol addiction. Fiorina won the 2010 Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in California, but lost the race to Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.
Fiorina’s story is one of self-determination, bumps, successes and high-profile failures. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, she attended law school for a semester at the University of California at Los Angeles before quitting. She received a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Maryland, and a master’s of science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Fiorina rose steadily through management ranks at AT&T beginning in 1980, and was named president of spinoff Lucent’s marketing and sales. A year later, she was named Fortune magazine’s 1998 most powerful woman in business, regarded as the first female captain of a Fortune 20 corporation.
In 1999, Hewlett-Packard named Fiorina chief executive officer. Her tenure was marked by the merger with Compaq, a leading competitor. Fiorina was fired in 2005 when she refused the board’s reassignment, after receiving criticism for the Compaq merger. She’s served on several boards since.
While Fiorina’s professional and political battles have played out quite publicly, she has faced serious personal challenges throughout her adult life.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and had a double mastectomy; her prognosis was favorable. Also in 2009, she and her husband Frank experienced the death by drug and alcohol addiction of Lori, Frank’s daughter from a previous marriage whom Fiorina raised with Frank along with his other daughter, Traci.
Fiorina is the author of two books, “Tough Choices,” published in 2007, and “Rising to the Challenge,” released this year.