Meg Whitman talks a lot about her business acumen. She helped sculpt eBay after all. But, if you are to really look at her record, there’s a lot to complain about.
Take eBay itself. Yes, it grew while she was CEO. But her career was hardly without mistakes there. Take the whole Skype affair. She purchased Skype for 3.1 billion dollars, and then had to write off 900 million of that less than two years later. Since eMeg left, they’ve sold most of Skype for $1.9 billion. Sounds like somebody has been taking business lessons from one Arnold Schwarzenegger’s School of Stupid.
But, go back past eBay, and her record is not all that stellar either. She quit as a failure from her CEO gig at FTD.
after two disappointing years struggling to turn a profit…. ‘This company is not fixable, at least not by me,’ Whitman told FTD Chairman Richard Perry… (SacBee)
Furthermore, Whitman’s FTD settled an anti-trust case that acknowledged that FTD was essentially muscling competitors out of the market. Not only did she violate the law, she did so knowingly, as FTD was already under a consent decree to not engage in precisely the kinds of activities that she repeated.
Oh, and lest you think that was her only shadiness at FTD, she also did a good ol’ fashioned purge of the “stodgy” (read: old) executives. She eventually settled litigation for age discrimination.
The fact is that Whitman can’t even run FTD with respect for the law, why do we think that she can handle the world’s eight largest economy?