NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Carly Fiorina, dismissed as chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard last month, has emerged as a candidate to head the World Bank, according to published reports Tuesday.
The New York Times cited an unnamed Bush administration official as saying Fiorina is a strong candidate to assume the presidency of the international aid provider. The Wall Street Journal said the administration is in the early stages of considering Fiorina after Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz pulled out of contention for the job.
Both the Times and the Journal said a spokeswoman for Fiorina declined comment.
The 50-year-old Fiorina was dismissed by the HP board Feb. 9 amid a dispute over the computer products company's structure and the failure to meet performance goals following the 2002 acquisition of Compaq Computer Inc. She's a Republican who supported President Bush's re-election last year.
Fiorina's name emerged as Wolfowitz's candidacy descended, amid concerns that European members of the World Bank might reject him to protest his advocacy of the war in Iraq. He was named as one of a small number of people being considered for the World Bank job in a Financial Times report Tuesday that cited administration insiders.
Wolfowitz's office declined to directly comment on the report but told CNN/Money that the deputy secretary has been asked to stay on his current position, which "he likes doing very much."
The selection process for the leadership at the World Bank is decided by all the shareholders in the institution. But the U.S. and Europe in effect divide up the top jobs, with an American heading the bank and a European running the sister entity, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), according to the FT article. The current bank president, James Wolfensohn, is stepping down in May after two five-year terms.
The World Bank couldn't be reached immediately for comment.
Others said by the Times to be under consideration for the post include Randall Tobias, former head of Eli Lilly & Co. (Research) and the administration's coordinator on AIDS; John Taylor, the top-ranking Treasury official for international affairs, and Rep. James A. Leach, R-Iowa, an expert on aid and development.