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Fiorina in the running to be World Bank chief

Pentagon official says Wolfowitz not interested in post

WASHINGTON -- Carly Fiorina, the recently ousted chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Co., is in the running to be the president of the World Bank, a Bush administration official said yesterday.

Fiorina's name is the latest to surface as a candidate to replace World Bank president James Wolfensohn. He is stepping down as head of the development bank on June 1.

The Bush administration began the search for Wolfensohn's successor in January and said it would talk to other countries that belong to the 184-nation World Bank. The United States is the World Bank's largest member nation. The bank traditionally has had an American president

Among the candidates reportedly being considered was high-profile deputy US Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. A Pentagon official last night told Bloomberg News that Wolfowitz intends to remain in his current position. ''Secretary Wolfowitz has been asked to stay on in an extremely important job, one that he likes doing very much," Defense Department spokesman Larry DiRita said.

Rob Nichols, spokesman for the Treasury Department, which is involved in the search, declined to comment on candidates.

Fiorina, as HP chief, was one of the most high-profile chief executives in the country. During her nearly six-year tenure, she sought to reinvigorate the company. But the board felt she didn't execute its strategy quickly enough and dismissed her in early February. Fiorina declined to comment.

Other names floated for the World Bank job include: John Taylor, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for international affairs; Peter McPherson, former head of Michigan State University who served as Bush's point man on rebuilding Iraq's financial system; and Christine Todd Whitman, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

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