Carly Fiorina draws crowd in Geneva

ITU 2003: Hewlett-Packard's chief executive - who has been shoulder-tapped by the new California governor-elect - spoke in favour of globalisation

Just days after being turned to by California governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger, HP chief executive Carly Fiorina cemented her position as First Lady of Tech by choosing the subject of 'e-inclusion' as she addressed telecoms delegates from all over the world at the ITU Telecom 2003 event in Geneva.

Fiorina, who spent around two decades in telecoms before taking up the top post at HP just over four years ago, controversially spoke in favour of globalisation -- calling it "inevitable and inexorable" -- but said technology makes it possible "for all to advance together, if we play our part".

Addressing a large assembled audience, she painted a picture of a world in which most activities will become digital, mobile and virtual. She used as an example the differences between traditional and digital photography.

However, in what can be interpreted as a criticism of the approach of some in her industry, she added: "We must focus on innovation to radically simplify the use of technology so real people can use it."

And she was no less restrained on governmental choices since the start of the new millennium, singling out cuts in education in countries such as Germany, the UK and the US.

Although her job for now is all about focusing on the ongoing HP-Compaq integration and battling the likes of Dell, IBM and Sun in various areas, Fiorina hasn't ruled out a career in politics at some stage.