The years of experience in corporate leadership have made Carly Fiorina a force to recon with and a proud ambassador to women with great aspirations.
It is befitting to give honour to whom it is due. Carly Fiorina has shown continuity and success at many levels of endurance. She is recognized as the first iconic woman to lead a Fortune 100 company.
Life and career
Carly’s turning point in corporate leadership started at the early age of 35 years old. She became the first division officer at AT&T’s male-dominated Network Systems Division. Carly Fiorina mastered her trade and became the head of the company’s North American Sales Operations.
She was instrumental in the company’s success at the stock exchange when Lucent, a subsidiary of AT&T, made history by raising three billion US dollars at its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 1996.
Carly Fiorina became President of Lucent’s Global Service Provider division in 1998. The new company, operated in selling network communication products which include phone software and various networking systems. Carly spearheaded an innovative sales campaign. She was able to increase the market share of the company’s products by winning global businesses to patronize the company’s products.
Her skills and continues success landed her a new position as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Hewlett-Packard (HP) in 1999. She revolutionized the company by making tough choices. Shaping various departmental units into more efficient and manageable ones.
Under her leadership, HP merged with Compaq Computers though the merger was not popular with HP owners. She praised the merger's outcome and announced HP's becoming a leader and a progressive company to reckon with in the technology business industry before her resignation.
After an unsuccessful attempt at the US Senate, Carly Fiorina recently announced her bid for the Republican nomination; for president in the 2016 presidential elections. A move, if successful, will catapult her leadership aspirations.
Carly’s early childhood education started in London. She was also fortunate to experience different cultures worldwide by having part of her high school education in Ghana, West Africa.
She graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and medieval history in 1976. She also received her master's degree in business administration and marketing in 1980 at the University of Maryland, College Park.
She is currently married to Frank Fiorina, AT&T corporate executive. And a mother to his children. She continues to serve as a leader on various corporate boards.
Lessons from Carly Fiorina
Everything was not all that rosy in Carly’s life and career. But her determined spirit keeps surging. She is a cancer survivor and a divorcee. She was unable to have a child of her own. And some of her leadership decisions were deemed controversial by her peers and industry analysts.
But her persona establishes the fact that though we may not be loved at all levels, and perhaps, not get all that we wish, “life is really what we make it”.
Enoch Antwi is the managing editor at The Business Frontal. He worked as a business and an environmental journalist in the late 1990s with the Business and Financial Times. His passion is to provide on-demand valuable information and insights on business, entrepreneurship, leadership, innovative technologies, and principles for corporate success in today's business world.