Her strong performances in the first two GOP primary debates have caused a lot of Americans to take a second look at Fiorina. Here are nine things you should know about her business career — and what it tells us about her qualifications for the presidency. Full story: http://bit.ly/1j7aiwa
  1. People are still debating her performance as CEO of HP
    Fiorina was the CEO of technology giant Hewlett Packard from 1999 to 2005.
  2. Fortune named Fiorina the most powerful woman in business in 1998
    Before she joined HP, Fiorina was a senior executive at Lucent, a company that had been formed by spinning off the equipment division of the old AT&T telephone monopoly.
  3. Fiorina fought workplace sexism throughout her career, but she has resisted the role of feminist icon
    When Fiorina became the first woman to lead a Fortune 20 company, reporters naturally asked if she had broken the glass ceiling. Fiorina was dismissive. "I hope that we are at a point that everyone has figured out that there is not a glass ceiling," she said. "My gender is interesting, but really not the subject of the story here."
  4. Her success at Lucent was driven in part by risky loans
    Fiorina's fame wasn't just driven by her charism, it was also driven by Lucent's impressive financial results. Quarter after quarter, Lucent would sell more telecommunications equipment than Wall Street expected, driving the company's stock price ever higher.
  5. Fiorina has a lot of experience with international negotiations
    In the early 1990s, Fiorina was working in AT&T's equipment division. She was responsible for finding ways to boost AT&T's sales of telecommunications equipment to overseas customers. That involved a lot of foreign travel, navigating foreign bureaucracies, and building relationships with people from different cultures.
  6. She lost a stepdaughter to drug addiction
    Carly Fiorina married a fellow AT&T executive, Frank Fiorina, in 1985. Their marriage never produced children, but Carly became a stepmother to Frank's two children from his first marriage. Tragically, their younger daughter Lori died of a prescription drug overdose in 2010 at the age of 34.
  7. Fiorina's 2010 Senate campaign opponent portrayed her as rich and out of touch
    In 2010, Fiorina ran for the US Senate against incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). Boxer sought to portray Fiorina as wealthy and out of touch with ordinary Californians. Fiorina's tenure at HP gave Boxer some ammunition for this line of attack. Fiorina ran the company during the 2001 recession, which was particularly severe in Silicon Valley, and plunging revenues forced her to lay off 30,000 workers, many of them in California. She lost to Boxer by a 52 percent to 42 percent margin.
  8. She campaigned tirelessly for the 2002 Compaq merger
    While Fiorina lost her 2010 race for US Senate, she won another important campaign: the 2002 shareholder vote on whether to approve the merger of HP and Compaq. The race was as expensive and grueling as a conventional political campaign. Both HP management and opponents of the merger spent millions of dollars promoting their perspective. The campaign was exhausting, but she was successful; the merger was endorsed by 51 percent of HP shareholders.
  9. Fiorina could fix the way government acquires technology
    Fiorina has never served in elected office, but she has extensive experience dealing with the government as a service providers. Technological innovation is rapidly reducing the cost of web technology in the private sector, but too many federal agencies are still soliciting multimillion-dollar bids to overhaul their IT systems. Fiorina may be the ideal person to change that.