When Carly Fiorina was hired as Hewlett-Packard's Chief Executive Officer, she became the first woman to take control of a Fortune 100 company. Among her CEO accomplishments, she led the reinvention of the legendary company, steering it through the dot-com bust. She was also instrumental in achieving a merger with rival computer company Compaq, which resulted in Hewlett-Packard becoming the world's largest personal computer manufacturer. Throughout an extraordinary career in business, Fiorina has successfully blazed new trails and defied the odds. Prior to joining HP, Fiorina spent nearly 20 years at AT&T and Lucent Technologies, where she held several senior leadership positions. More recently, she delved into politics by announcing her candidacy for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election. Before that, she was included in Time’s 2004 top 100 ranking of Most Influential People in the World Today and named tenth on the Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women the same year. Fiorina has previously served on boards at Cisco Systems, Kellogg Company, Cyber Trust, and Merck & Company. In addition, she is a best-selling author and sought-after speaker, championing economic growth and empowerment for all.
In 1988, while working her way up the ranks at AT&T, the company sent Fiorina to MIT to earn an advanced degree in business administration. The school offered a one-year intensive program of study that catered to midcareer managers seeking education for development purposes. During her time at MIT, she wrote a research paper on neural networks, allowing her to see the connections not only between biology and technology, but also between biology and organizational structure and behavior. These insights would help shape the Leadership Framework Fiorina would later introduce at Hewlett-Packard. In 1989 she received a Master of Science degree in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
From 2004 until 2012 Fiorina served as a member of the board of trustees at MIT. Her loyalty to her alma mater cannot be questioned. Moreover, she has been asked to be the keynote speaker at some of her university's biggest events. In 2002 Fiorina returned to campus to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of MIT's Sloan School. In her address to fellow Sloan School graduates, she spoke out on the responsibility of all corporate leaders to help restore faith in the American economy.
Previously, in 2000, Fiorina delivered that year's commencement speech for MIT. In a heartfelt address to the new graduates, she urged them to follow their hearts. It was the same advice she used to illuminate her path into the history books. "All you really have to do is engage your heart, your gut, and your mind in every decision you make; engage your whole self and the journey will reveal itself with the passage of time."