Ex-HP CEO Fiorina Considering 2016 Presidential Run
Carly Fiorina is hoping her business acumen will help her stand out in what promises to be a crowded GOP field of candidates, according to reports.Carly Fiorina reportedly is looking to see if her time as Hewlett-Packard's CEO, a 10-point loss in her only political race and her increasing involvement in Republican Party politics for the past decade or so will be enough to elevate her above what promises to be a crowded GOP field and give her a shot at the White House. According to The Washington Post, the 60-year-old Fiorina is "actively exploring" a presidential run for 2016, seeing the possibility of gaining some attention as a business executive and woman in a roster of possible Republican candidates that is made up of male politicians. The Post reported that Fiorina is meeting with party activists, donors and organizers in such key states as New Hampshire and Iowa. She is getting on the GOP speaking tour—including the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February 2015—running a political action committee, the Unlocking Potential PAC, and making the rounds on inside-the-Beltway TV talk shows. Fiorina fueled speculation about her intentions last month when she was asked on Meet the Press about her ambitions for 2016. Her reply: "When people keep asking you over and over again, you have to pause and reflect, so I'll pause and reflect at the right time." Fiorina comes with a good story. She rose from her first position as a secretary at Lucent to become the first woman to run a Fortune 50 company when she was appointed CEO of tech giant HP. However, it was a tumultuous six years at the company, highlighted by HP's $20 billion acquisition of rival PC maker Compaq. It pitted Fiorina against some of the heirs of HP's founders, in particular William Hewlett's son, Walter Hewlett, who unsuccessfully went to court to stop the deal.
The move enabled HP to push past Dell to become the world's top PC maker, a position it held until Lenovo knocked it off the perch last year. It also came as PCs became increasingly commoditized and the market began to consolidate through such deals as IBM selling its PC business to Lenovo and Acer buying Gateway, which earlier had bought eMachines. Now HP, under CEO Meg Whitman, has begun to split in two, with the PC and printer business separating from the enterprise business.