Name at birth: Cara Carleton Sneed
Carly Fiorina is an American business executive who left the world of high-tech companies for politics -- and announced her intention to seek the U.S. presidency in 2016. Her father was a law professor at Stanford and Cornell, then a judge, and she grew up around an academic setting and graduated from Stanford University in 1976. She tried law school, but when that didn't last, she went to work as a secretary. After a brief stint dabbling in real estate sales, she joined AT&T as a management trainee in 1980. Fiorina worked her way up and became a top executive, and by 1995 she was the head of the chief division of AT&T's Lucent Technologies. Their successful debut on the stock market in 1998 made Fiorina a corporate star, and in 1999 she was named the chair and CEO of Hewlett-Packard. While the media was calling her the most powerful woman in the business world, the board of Hewlett-Packard forced her to resign in 2005, after huge shareholder losses and employee layoffs. Her supporters say the board was "dysfunctional," and her critics say she made tens of millions as a failed corporate head -- during her tenure, Hewlett-Packard's shares fell 42% (compared to a broader market slide of 6%), and Fiorina reportedly got more than $21 million to leave the company. Fiorina used some of her personal wealth to finance a run in 2010 for the U.S. Senate as a conservative Republican, but lost to incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer. A sometime commentator for Fox Business News, and the director of the non-profit organization Good360, Fiorina announced her candidacy for the presidency in May of 2015.
Carly Fiorina was treated for breast cancer during her U.S. Senate campaign.
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