Although Carly Fiorina has used her past position as CEO of Hewlett-Packard as her platform for capturing the Republican presidential nomination, critics have pointed to her failed history — she was ousted by the board after six years, but not before the company’s stock plummeted and she trimmed 30,000 jobs — as the precise evidence why she shouldn’t win. Supporters, however, are quick to note she was tasked with running HP during the bursting of the tech bubble, in which no company emerged unscathed.
The only female candidate in an extremely crowded Republican campaign, Fiorina received renewed attention after delivering what were hailed as strong performances at the Republican debates, enjoying a subsequent, albeit brief, lift in the polls.
In last week’s GOP debate, Fiorina again used her past experience in the tech sector as evidence of her preparedness and forward thinking. “We need to recognize that technology has moved on. … Technology has moved on, and the terrorists have moved on with it. … We need the private sector’s help, because government is not innovating. Technology is running ahead by leaps and bound. The private sector will help, just as I helped after 9/11. But they must be engaged, and they must be asked. I will ask them. I know them.”