Ousted Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina is under consideration to be World Bank president, a Bush administration official said, adding that no decision has been made.

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Ousted Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina is under consideration to be World Bank president, a Bush administration official said, adding that no decision has been made.

The New York Times reported she is a “strong candidate” for the post, which becomes available June 1 after James Wolfensohn, 71, retires. The administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, would say only that she’s on a list of possible candidates.

Fiorina declined to comment through her spokeswoman Kathy Fitzgerald.

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Fiorina, 50, is the latest name to be bandied about to head the World Bank, a lender to developing nations. The Financial Times earlier yesterday, in a front-page story, said U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was a “leading candidate” to replace Wolfensohn. Later in the day, the Pentagon issued a statement saying Wolfowitz would remain in his current post.

Ranked by Fortune magazine as the most powerful woman in business from 1998 until last year, Fiorina failed to boost profit at Hewlett-Packard. In 1999, the company reported net income of $3.49 billion. In 2004, earnings were $3.5 billion. Sales in the same period rose to $79.9 billion from $42.4 billion, buoyed by the purchase of Compaq Computer.

Fiorina has limited documented experience working on development projects in poor countries. She is a member of South African President Thabo Mbeki’s advisory panel on information and development, and under her watch, Hewlett-Packard began a partnership with communities in countries such as South Africa and India to boost their access to technology.

Before joining Hewlett-Packard in July 1999, Fiorina spent 20 years at AT&T and Lucent Technologies.

“We do not comment or speculate on personnel matters,” said Rob Nichols, a spokesman for the Treasury Department, which oversees U.S. interests at the World Bank. “Our plan remains to have someone picked before Jim Wolfensohn’s term ends.”