First female to be CEO of a fortune 500 company. Carly Fiorina came up through the ranks at AT&T then managed the split of Lucent from AT&T. As CEO of Lucent she created a driven, effective company that took the high tech world by storm; not to mention the stock market. In November of 1999 she replaced Lew Platt as Hewlett Packard's CEO.

Carly is a diminutive form of her full first name, Carleton. Carly S. Fiorina is chairman, president and Chief Executive Officer of the Hewlett-Packard Company. Under her leadership, HP has been reinvented, revamped and reorganized. (Example: she collapsed 83 HP profit centers into 12.) Carly threw out the old "HP Way," careless of whose feathers got ruffled. This process has been largely successful, although the old HP lurks, Lovecraftian, beneath the surface, always ready to rise up and devour all.

Ahem. Where was I?

According to HP's web site, Ms. Fiorina holds a bachelor's degree in medieval history and philosophy from Stanford University; a master's degree in business administration from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland at College Park, Md.; and a master of science degree from MIT's Sloan School.

Carly has placed #1 on Fortune's list of the 50 most powerful women in business for the last three years running (see

Cara Carleton (Carly) Fiorina is about to get more than her well deserved "15 minutes of fame." She is the Chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, who has captured the technology news recently with the proposed merger with PC maker, Compaq.

Born on September 6, 1954, her mother was a painter and her father, a law professor. The family moved often and Carly attended five different high schools. She earned her BA in Medieval History and Philosophy at Stanford in 1976 and then went to the UCLA Law School obviously hoping to follow her father's lead, but it didn't take her long to discover, she hated law. So off she went to the University of Maryland to earn an MBA in Marketing in 1980. She later added a Master of Science degree in Business from MIT.

Prior to joining HP in July of 1999, Carly spent 20 years in the sales and marketing arenas with, first AT&T and then Lucent Technologies. At AT&T, Carly began her career as an account director and in a relatively short time (10 years), became the first female officer at 35 and was soon in charge of North American Operations. With Lucent, Carly was responsible for many advances including their spinoff from AT&T and their first public offering. And now with HP, she's at the helm of the recently announced merger with Compaq, a move that at the moment, isn't setting well with investors and has the usual critics up in arms. But neither HP nor Carly are new at innovations, and as Carly stated early on, "Clearly we need to reinvigorate things here (at HP)." The invigoration has begun. It'll be interesting to see where Carly goes from here.


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