I served as the Technology Policy Manager at Hewlett-Packard while Carly was the CEO. While I have held several positions both before working at HP and after leaving, including with Intel Corporation and as a staffer on Capitol Hill, my job working with Carly Fiorina was by far the most gratifying.
At the time I was there, Carly and HP were at the forefront of efforts by New Economy companies to create a global marketplace that was safe for consumers, open for business, and beneficial for everyone involved.
My position afforded me the opportunity to witness first-hand Carly’s leadership in developing standards for the New Economy, in particular how she effectively led efforts on internet privacy rights and in protecting consumers as they learned how to navigate the new world of e-commerce.
In the early days of the New Economy, innovation was outpacing the rules and standards governing the internet revolution. Almost overnight, millions of Americans were using the internet on a regular basis. This meant a huge boon of economic expansion for technology companies like Hewlett-Packard. But it also meant the private information of millions of Americans was being collected with little to no oversight as to how that information should be treated. On top of that, there were no global rules on the rights consumers had, if what was promised through e-commerce transactions was undelivered.
Carly understood very early on that New Economy companies like HP had an obligation to ensure the internet was a clean, well-lit venue for American consumers. Carly advocated that consumers had the right to know what companies were going to do with information that they collected from consumers. Unfortunately, Carly was one of the few top technology CEOs who did. But Carly Fiorina is a true leader in every sense of the word and, as good leaders do, Carly took action.
In 2000, Carly served as the chair of the Consumer Working Group of a global CEO organization called the Global Business Dialogue on Electronic Commerce (GBDe). The group was organized to provide practicable solutions for the new digital world and was comprised of CEOs of other top tech companies such as IBM, AOL, Time Warner, Microsoft, and Intel.
This wasn’t an easy sell for Carly. Many other top tech CEOs were not in favor of new privately-initiated rules and were working against Carly’s attempt to bring transparency and provide privacy protections for American consumers. But Carly has never been one to shy from a fight.
Carly used her position as a top tech CEO and as chair of the GBDe consumer advocacy effort to ensure that governments and consumer groups as well as business leaders worked collaboratively to support personal privacy measures and to bring oversight to, in Carly’s words, “the wild west” of global e-commerce. And in the end, Carly won the support of the US government, the EU and Japan, as well as Consumers International, the global consumer federation, which represented 250 consumer organizations in 115 countries.
I have lived in and around the Washington DC area for almost 40 years, and have watched multiple administrations come and go. And no matter what party is in control, the same thing continues to happen. Politicians make big promises to voters, but they never deliver.
That is not likely to happen in a Carly Fiorina Administration. Carly is both a proven business AND public policy leader who has a lengthy track record of accomplishing the tasks she has taken on. No other candidate has this unique – and needed – set of qualities and skills. Carly is driven, dedicated, and exactly the kind of leader we need to fix the dysfunction in Washington and jumpstart our economy. As a former HP employee who worked directly with Carly Fiorina, I am honored to know her and to have worked with her. I strongly believe she will be the president we can all be proud of.