Meg Whitman, CEO of tech giant Hewlett-Packard, is one of the most experienced and respected corporate executives in the world — male or female. A native of Cold Spring Harbor on New York’s Long Island, she studied math and science at Princeton and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. She began her career at Proctor & Gamble in 1979, before moving on to increasingly high-level positions at Bain & Company, Walt Disney & Company, Stride Rite and Hasbro.
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Whitman’s career went into overdrive in 1998 when she joined a small online auction business with just 30 employees and $4 million in sales called eBay. Over the next decade, under Whitman’s leadership, eBay grew into one of the most successful Internet companies in the world, with 15,000 employees and $8 billion in annual revenue. Whitman stepped down as eBay CEO in 2007, and in 2009 announced she was running for Governor of California in the 2010 election as a pro-business Republican. Despite spending over $140 million of her own money on the race, Whitman was defeated by veteran California politico Jerry Brown. In September of 2011, she was named CEO of HP. Whitman, a prominent supporter of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, is frequently named as one of the most powerful women in global business.
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