Carly Fiorina – From High-Tech Company CEO to Promising Politician

Cary Fiorina everything-pr When it comes to powerful personal brands, Carly Fiorina is extremely interesting to watch. The first and only woman to have run a Fortune 20 company up to now, cancer survivor, mother, wife, grandmother, she is now focusing on politics and change.

What I remember most about Carly Fiorina from her time at HP is her getting a lot of press. Maybe it was only because of her business choices, maybe it was because she was the only woman in such a prominent IT&C position, regardless of the reason, the press was all over her. Take it from someone who was doing press monitoring at the time and read dozens of newspapers and magazines on a daily basis.

While she is far from being the only strong woman involved in politics, I think she is still quite able to catch the eye of the press and the public and perfectly able to hire a team that can build a strong brand for her. She has an effective website, Twitter and Facebook accounts, the same big and warm smile and a clear focus on what she wants and how to get there.

Why is Carly so appealing to so many people? First off, she’s got a story that sells big time. She went from secretary to CEO of HP, therefore she can relate with almost anyone. While her time at HP is highly debated and some think she was a disaster as the HP shares value decreased tremendously, there are enough numbers to monitor to prove she was actually good at her job (watch the video on her campaign site for some of the results she takes pride in).

Carly is good at selling herself. She has the right story and right strategy for her campaign. She can take negative comments about her time at HP and come with actual results that show progress in the company. Yes, she did mess up a little, yet people still want to hear what she has to say.

I might personally not be able to understand how the first woman to make it to the very exclusive Fortune 20 CEO lists is a Conservative, or how she can be described as pro-life if she owns and supports others owning guns… But considering her attraction when it comes to journalists, her extensive personal branding experience and ability to deal with negativity, and the great quality of knowing how to present information so that it makes her look her best, she is bound to be a great politician.


  1. Stamford50 says

    The advertisement offers a “wolf” (her primary opponent) dressed in a fleece (how appropriate) and flashing red, electronic eyes to signify — diabolic intent? displeasure with fairy tales? distaste for the 4-H Club? Who knows? Ms. Fiorina has had no success in leading bi-peds either. Don’t lose any sleep over it.

  2. Stamford50 says

    While I appreciate your effort to defend the indefensible, there is nothing debatable about Ms. Fiorina’s corporate performance. Her tag-line at AT&T was a heartfelt question to the client: “What keeps you up at night?” In the political realm, her red-eyed sheep should keep the electorate up at night and worried that she might blather her way into yet another job for which she is unqualified to manage.

    • Sheepy says

      Did you just say sheep? Yes you did! You did! So you think us sheep are easy to lead, don’t you? I suggest a 2 weeks training as a shepherd, that will give you a taste of what this feels like. :P

      As a sheep, I am sure that Fiorina has no experience in leading us quadrupeds. So please, if you have to refer to any mammal, in an attempt to minimize any biped, now or in the future, please avoid my kind. Thank you.

  3. Alina Popescu says

    Dear Stamford50, noticing someone has a powerful brand and observing how they do it is not something only that person’s PR team should do. We learn from examples, good and bad.

    Now the fact you say she did not do that great at AT&T means HP either had a poor HR team or she was really good at selling herself.

    I have nothing against CEOs that build personal brands if they meet their business objectives as well. Look at Apple and what their star CEO has meant for them :)

    Whether she was a good or bad CEO is still debatable. Whether she got a lot of press for HP, that’s not! I remember seeing at least one other article in business or IT newspapers and magazines every day. She is charismatic, she knows how to present herself and her results, thus she is a personal brand that’s interesting to analyze.

  4. Stamford50 says

    Your skill at promoting someone who is exceptionally skilled at self-promotion is probably unneeded, unless you are a functional part of Ms. Fiorina’s communications team. Having worked for Carly at AT&T, I can assure you that her claims about job creation are true — if you want positions to be created in China. Look at her business acumen from HP and then contrast her achievements with those of her successor, Mark Hurd. He is a serious businessman who focuses on building HP’s brand, not his own.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *