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Woman Breaks the Glass Ceiling of the Corporate Elite

On Monday, Carleton S. Fiorina was named the CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co. — the first time a top technology company has chosen a woman as its chief executive.

She made history when she was selected to be the head of Hewlett-Packard Co., which is Silicon Valley’s largest company. Lynn Martin, professor of public policy at Northwestern University and former secretary of labor noted, “This is a substantial company, not only top 30 [in the Dow Jones average], but edgy and in the forefront of technology, which stereotypically has been male-dominated. She will automatically be a presence.”

Furthermore, Fiorina is one of only three women to head a Fortune 500 Company, the other two being the founders of their companies — ebay, inc. and Landmark Systems Corp. She is also an outsider, coming to Hewlett-Packard from Lucent Technologies Inc., where she was instrumental in spearheading “one of the most successful initial public offerings of stock when she led the $3 billion spinoff of Lucent from its parent, AT&T, in 1996.”

Katherine Clark, founder and CEO of Landmark Systems Inc. said, “Fiorina made her reputation in a traditional, good-ole-boy, glass ceiling environment. It marks the end of an era.”

During a press conference Firoina commented that “my gender is very interesting, but really not the subject of the story here.” She continued to say that she would “make the changes necessary to invigorate this business” and to instill a better sense of energy into Hewlett-Packard.

Following the announcement of the new CEO, Hewlett-Packard stock rose 1.97%, or $2.25.

Sources:

Washington Post - July 20, 1999