Carly Fiorina, the former chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard, just became the first and likely only female contender jockeying for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
The 60-year-old California businesswoman and cancer survivor made her announcement on Good Morning America Monday, positioning herself as a D.C. outsider unlike her opponents that she paints as “career politicians.”
At a recent Christian Science Monitor breakfast, she told reporters, "People who have been in politics all their lives are somewhat disconnected from the rest of us."
Though she paints herself as anti-politician, the fact that Fiorina hasn’t served in public office isn’t for a lack of trying. In 2010, she unsuccessfully attempted to unseat Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and poured about $22 million into the election -- $6 million of which was her own money.
The race did, however, gain her notoriety in political circles and various corners of the Internet for her infamous “demon sheep” ad, which attacked her Republican primary opponent, Tom Campbell for being “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” The ad went viral (for good reason -- watch it) and is rumored to be making a comeback in her presidential campaign.
Still, she is best known as a business executive. She began her career in the technology field in 1980 when she joined AT&T as a management trainee. She gradually climbed the ladder and became a senior vice president managing the company’s hardware and systems division.
Later, she led operations to launch the AT&T spinoff, Lucent. In 1999, she took the helm at HP and served for six years before being forced to resign amid layoffs and a $19 billion merger with Compaq. She delved into politics and served as an advisor on John McCain’s presidential campaign.
Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about the GOP’s lone female 2016 presidential contender:
- Her undergraduate degree from Stanford University is in philosophy and medieval studies, which she once joked meant upon graduation she was “all dressed up with nowhere to go.”
- Her dad, Joseph Tyree Sneed III, served as a deputy attorney general under President Richard Nixon, and a longtime senior judge on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
- She dropped out of law school at the University of California Los Angeles after the first semester and eventually earned a Master of Science in management from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
- In 2009, CNBC rated her one of the worst CEO’s of all time.
- She was named the “most powerful woman in business” by Fortune magazine in their initial 1988 listing.
- Before running for Senate in 2010, she touted herself as the Chair and CEO of Carly Fiorina Enterprises, a business and charitable foundation. Shortly after, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that she had never registered her business in California, where she lived, or the Internal Revenue Service—calling into question the legitimacy of the organization.
- While at HP, she received criticism for hanging her portrait in the company’s lobby, as well as passing out noisemakers before one of her speeches, according to Bloomberg.
- She worked at a hair salon and as a secretary for Kelly Services to pay her way through college.
- She didn’t buy her domain names quickly enough, so someone else did. “Carly Fiorina failed to register this domain. So, I’m using it tell you how many people she laid off at Hewlett-Packard,” reads CarlyFiorina.org, filled with 30,000 sad-faces, one for each employee who was laid off.
- While campaigning for the 2010 Senate race, Fiorina underwent chemotherapy and three surgeries, including a bilateral mastectomy to treat her breast cancer. She was also dealing with the death of her stepdaughter.
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