Speaker's Profile


Meg Whitman

President and CEO, eBay (1998-2008)

Meg Whitman was president and CEO of eBay for ten years. During her tenure, eBay grew from 30 employees and roughly $4 million in revenue, to more than 15,000 employees and $7.7 billion in revenue. Whitman directed a global expansion that turned eBay into a household name worldwide, and the company revolutionized the way goods are bought, sold and paid for online. In the process, Whitman created a vibrant online economy where individuals could pursue their entrepreneurial dreams, leading to more than one million people making all or part of their living selling on eBay.

Before joining eBay, Whitman was general manager of Hasbro Inc.’s Preschool Division, responsible for global management and marketing of two of the world’s best-known children’s brands, Playskool and Mr. Potato Head. From 1995 to 1997, Whitman was president and CEO of Florists Transworld Delivery or FTD, the world’s largest floral products company. Prior to FTD, Whitman served as president of the Stride-Rite Corporation’s Stride Rite Division, and she also was a senior vice president of marketing for the Disney Consumer Products Division at the Walt Disney Co. From 1981 to 1989, she spent eight years as a vice president at Bain & Co., following a two-year stint at Procter & Gamble in brand management.

Whitman is one of only seven women to have repeatedly been ranked among the world’s most successful people by Time magazine; Fortune ranked her the “most powerful woman in business” in 2004 and 2005. Business Week listed Whitman on its list of the most powerful business managers every year from 2000-2008.

In June 2010 Whitman became the Republican nominee for Governor of California. Her spirited campaign against Jerry Brown focused on job creation and the potential of California’s economy. Today Whitman sits on the boards of Hewlett Packard, Procter & Gamble, ZipCar and Teach for America. She also serves as a strategic adviser with the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. She plans to have a voice in California’s future and the economic issues that matter most to Californians.

Whitman received her bachelor’s degree in economics from Princeton University and a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. She is married to Dr. Griffith R. Harsh and has two sons, Griff and Will, and lives in the San Francisco Bay area.


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