Speaking of Meg Whitman, she’s apparently well along in her training as a member of the dark side. In 2007, she physically assaulted an eBay employee who was trying to prepare her for a press interview. The employee pressed charges and later settled out of court. Here’s the New York Times story:
In June 2007, an eBay employee claimed that Ms. Whitman became angry and forcefully pushed her in an executive conference room at eBay’s headquarters, according to multiple former eBay employees with knowledge of the incident. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter was delicate and was deemed to be strictly confidential.
The employee, Young Mi Kim, was preparing Ms. Whitman for a news media interview that day. Ms. Kim, who was not injured in the incident, hired a lawyer and threatened a lawsuit, but the dispute was resolved under the supervision of a private mediator. Two of the former employees said the company paid a six-figure financial settlement to Ms. Kim, which one of them characterized as “around $200,000.”
The article goes on to describe how Whitman was reputed to bully her staff, “express[ing] sharp bursts of anger toward employees whose work or preparation she found lacking.”
This is the same woman who now wants to be governor of California. Will she shove the Speaker of the Assembly when she doesn’t get her way? Verbally abuse her Director of Finance when it becomes clear her “fire everybody” strategy only worsens the budget deficit? It certainly does not speak well to Whitman’s judgement or her personality, which appears to be that of a pampered CEO who cannot deal with the rest of society as equals, but instead treats them like indentured servants.
In addition, this story indicates there may be more to Whitman’s notorious avoidance of the press. It may well be that Whitman is scared of the press, and scared of the public glare. Perhaps her desire for secrecy isn’t a calculated political move, but a reflection of an inner personality of a control freak who cannot abide situations she does not dominate.
If so, that doesn’t bode well for California government should she become governor. At a time when the public wants more openness, she would almost certainly lead one of the most secretive administrations in recent history, and would lash out strongly against anyone demanding more openness or transparency.
That seems to be the real story here. Not just that Whitman has no respect for those who work for her (and that is a very big deal), but that she is so determined to control every interaction she has with the public that she is unfit to govern this state.