Meg Whitman life and biography

Meg Whitman picture, image, poster

Meg Whitman biography

Date of birth : 1956-07-04
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Long Island, New York, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Famous Figures
Last modified : 2010-04-22
Credited as : American businesswoman, Former president and CEO of eBay,

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Margaret Cushing "Meg" Whitman (born August 4, 1956) is an American businesswoman and political figure.

She was President and Chief Executive Officer of eBay from March 1998 to March 2008. She is a Republican candidate for Governor of California in the November 2010 election. Whitman was also the first self-made white female billionaire.

Harvard Business Review named Whitman the 8th best performing CEO of the past decade and the Financial Times named her one of the 50 faces that shaped the decade.

Whitman was born on Long Island, New York, the daughter of Hendricks Hallett Whitman and Margaret (Goodhue) Whitman. Whitman attended a public high school, Cold Spring Harbor High School in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. She had wanted to be a doctor so she studied physics and mathematics at Princeton University. However, after spending a summer selling advertisements in a magazine, she switched to studying economics, earning a BA with honors. She then obtained an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1979. Whitman is married to Griffith Harsh IV, a neurosurgeon at Stanford University Medical Center. They have two sons. Whitman has lived in Atherton, California since March 1998.

Career

She began her career in 1979 as a brand manager at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio, before moving on to work as a consultant at Bain & Company's San Francisco office, where she worked her way through the ranks to achieve a senior Vice President position.

In 1989 she became vice president of strategic planning at The Walt Disney Company and in 1991 she joined Stride Rite Corporation before becoming president and CEO of Florists' Transworld Delivery in 1995.

In January 1997, Ms. Whitman joined Hasbro's Playskool Division as a General Manager, overseeing global management and marketing of two of the world's best-known children's brands, Playskool and Mr. Potato Head.

Whitman joined eBay in March 1998, when it had 30 employees and revenues of approximately $4 million; she grew the company to approximately 15,000 employees and $8 billion in annual revenue by 2008.

Fortune Magazine repeatedly named her one of the top 5 most powerful women for her success at eBay.

Whitman resigned as CEO of eBay in November 2007, but remained on the Board and as an Advisor to new CEO John Donahoe until late 2008. Ms. Whitman was inducted into the U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 2008. "I've said for some time that 10 years is roughly the right time to stay at the helm at a company like ours," adding that "it's time for new leadership, a new perspective and a new vision." she said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle.

Whitman also served on the board of directors of the eBay Foundation, Procter & Gamble, and DreamWorks SKG until early 2009. She was appointed to the board of Goldman Sachs in October, 2001 and then resigned in December 2002, amidst controversy that she allegedly had received shares in several public offerings managed by Goldman Sachs. Whitman earned approximately $1.78 million resulting from a practice known as spinning (IPO) whereby executives who did business with Goldman Sachs could reap profits by getting early deals before the public on hot IPOs offered by the bank.

Political

At the 2008 Republican National Convention, Whitman gave a speech about what John McCain would do in his first one hundred days in office if elected.

Whitman was a supporter of former Bain & Company CEO and Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in 2008 and was on his "National Finance Team". She was also listed as Finance co-chair of Romney's exploratory committee. However, after Romney stepped out of the race, and endorsed McCain, Whitman joined John McCain's presidential campaign as a national co-chair.

McCain mentioned Whitman as a possible Secretary of the Treasury during the second presidential debate in 2008.

Whitman has made monetary donations to various candidates and PACs. While these have gone to both Republicans and Democrats, the donations are weighted to Republicans. Though Whitman has contributed to a few Democrats, including Senator Barbara Boxer; donating $4,000 to her campaign and serving on the "Friends of Boxer" committee in 2004, she donated more than $225,000.00 during the same period to Republicans, eBay’s PAC and to Americans for a Republican Majority, the PAC of former Rep. Tom DeLay.

Whitman supports the Second Amendment's right to bear arms. Whitman has stated, "I believe current gun laws need to be enforced but we do not need any new restrictions on gun owners". Although Whitman claims she supports the Second Amendment she has also stated to sfgate quote “and believes tough gun laws like assault weapons bans and handgun control are appropriate for California.”

On September 22, 2009, Whitman announced she would run for governor of California in the 2010 election. Her candidacy has been endorsed by high-profile Republicans including Mitt Romney, John McCain, and the former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. If elected, Whitman would be the first female governor of California.

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