Cara Carleton “Carly” Fiorina (née Sneed; born September 6, 1954) is an American businesswoman and political figure, known primarily for her tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HP). She subsequently served as Chair of the philanthropic organization Good360.
Fiorina ran unsuccessfully for the United States Senate in 2010 and the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
As Chief Executive Officer of HP from 1999 to 2005, Fiorina was the first woman to lead a Top-20 company as ranked by Fortune Magazine. In 2002, Fiorina oversaw what was then the largest technology sector merger in history, in which HP acquired rival personal computer manufacturer, Compaq. The transaction made HP the world’s largest seller of personal computers. HP subsequently laid off 30,000 U.S. employees in order to save 80,000 jobs. The company then grew to 150,000. In February 2005, she was forced to resign as CEO and Chair following a boardroom disagreement.Fiorina was an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. In 2010, she won the Republican nomination for the United States Senate in California, but lost the general election to incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer. Fiorina was a candidate in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, and was for seven days the vice-presidential running mate of Ted Cruz until he suspended his campaign, setting the record for shortest vice presidential candidacy in modern U.S. history.