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Thu Aug 9 2007 07:51:46

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay CEO Meg Whitman appeared in Republican videos for George W. Bush's reelection campaign in 2004 at http://www.georgewbush.com/Innovators (no longer available). Today, the President of the United States lauded eBay in a speech with economic advisors:

"The entrepreneurial spirit has helped our economy keep pace with new technologies, and America is a leader in innovation. Twelve years ago, eBay did not exist. Today eBay is a global business that reported nearly $6 billion in net revenues last year. Hundreds of thousands of Americans now make part of their living by selling products on that website. eBay is an entrepreneurial success story that has helped thousands of Americans become entrepreneurs themselves."

While Whitman's high political profile contributes to some positive PR for the company, it has also drawn negative attention to eBay. The Huffington Post called Meg Whitman a kook and spotlighted pornography on eBay; the negative attention was due to her role as national finance committee chair in the Mitt Romney republican presidential campaign.

Assuming Romney sticks it out, expect the attention to heat up from other, more mainstream quarters. eBay could in fact be a political football as we approach the 2008 elections. The company has policies that have already angered more than a few special interests (religion, gun control, animal rights, to name a few).

Could eBay CEO Meg Whitman's personal political aspirations backfire for the company she works for? Is it appropriate for high-profile executives to take on a high-profile political role? Readers, you tell me.




Comments (18) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman   eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

by: thecountrybaker

Thu Aug 9 10:09:42 2007

Who cares?

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman   eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

by: john iavarone

Thu Aug 9 10:20:08 2007

SHAMEFUL.
WORST prez and ebay bigshot in bed with him? UGLY!

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman   eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

by: Vincent

Thu Aug 9 10:57:13 2007

I agree, who cares.  Let Meg support whoever she wants on her own time.

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman   eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

by: Jake

Thu Aug 9 11:08:33 2007

Gross! Now an even bigger reason to get off ebay, Worst President Ever and Plutocracy Meg. Know wonder eBay's actions are so blatantly self-serving. Not a place I want to spend my money!

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman   eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

by: DOC

Thu Aug 9 11:45:31 2007

I wonder if Bush knows about Meg refusing to fix her redirect problems??

http://www.ebaymotorssucks.com/fishatrc.htm

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman   eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

by: Mary Ann

Thu Aug 9 12:23:35 2007

I think Meg will leave ebay flat for a political post as soon as she can. Meg 2012?

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman   eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

by: BreckLundin

Thu Aug 9 13:05:28 2007

Wow, Ina, now it all seriously makes sense.  It is no apparent why Megholio has made unilateral decisions to eliminate various items that were LEGALLY offered for sale on eBay...she wants to run for office!!

Boy, it really all just came together in your article.  Nice how she has used the very way MILLIONS earn a living as the human detritus under her jack-booted heal to boot her real goal and garner political favor for HERSELF.

Some day I may need to email you my personal interactions with Meg...but for now I NEED my eBay account.  Trust me from what I learned about her she is not above reminding us peons she has power over our very existence.  

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman   eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

by: BreckLundin

Thu Aug 9 13:10:20 2007

btw, Megholio's approval ratings

http://www.forbes.com/2003/05/01/cx_ceointernetpoll.html
R>are
about where the shrub's are...so they would seem to be carved from the same jello...

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman   eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

by: Lindsay

Thu Aug 9 21:19:12 2007

eBay does seem like it's run like a  dictatorship...

Prez George Bush once said "This country would be so much easier to run if it were a dictatorship." Enough said...

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman   eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

by: C. Harned

Fri Aug 10 11:28:42 2007

I feel sorry for any candidate who would consider Meg a valuable asset - She is singularly out of touch with reality when it comes to her present "constituents" at eBay, so why would she be able to "get it right" in the political arena?

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman   eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

by: sergio

Sat Aug 11 18:08:03 2007

I dont wont to work with eBAY yet. Last my buy this auction send it to me about 3 month. It's terrible.

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman   eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

by: multi titanium

Sun Aug 12 14:44:02 2007

The posters that have said ''Who cares'' make a good point that we should allow individuals do support who they want, but they have sorely missed the point here. The truth has always been that the media and press don't have the same interests in turning away from issues like this and it will blow up into a hot topic to whoever will listen. And there are enough dolts out there who will.

Meg's political aspirations are completely inappropriate for the eBay CEO. If eBay has a political agenda, it should lobby like all the other companies. As CEO, Meg should understand that she represents eBay no matter how ''personal'' the matter is. By choosing one side (instead of saying out of the elections), Meg has associated eBay with these candidates, and that can only hurt shareholders. I see no good that can come out of her actions for the shareholders that could not have been done through regular lobbying or low key support of candidates. Such high profile commitment is self serving and not appropriate. Imagine if she loses. Then the shareholders' have a ''loser'' CEO running their company.

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman   eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

by: john

Thu Aug 16 07:51:00 2007

''Then the shareholders' have a ''loser'' CEO running their company.''

they have that now.  Meg just hasn't run out of their money to waste so they can tell the difference.

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman   eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

by: nan

Thu Aug 23 00:26:12 2007

Has anyone heard of free speech in San Francisco?  Guess not.  Meg is free to support whatever political candidate she wants to.  Yahoo is always doing puff pieces for the Left.  So what's her big offense?  Some pornography she didn't allow on Ebay, is that it?  You mean there's a critical shortage of pornography? Oh, no!   Dark minds think the worst of everyone.  She worked her way up--- she must be evil!   As if Meg Whitman's volunteering must all be a dark scheme. Ebay has made many people prosperous.  Of course, we would never consider being thankful for that.  Jealous rage is in; gratitude is out.  Love that Bay Ahhhhreeuuuh.  Whenever the Blue Angels flew over, San Franciscans were sure it was the end of the world!  

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman   eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

by: Alex

Thu Aug 23 18:39:21 2007

Hey, who could fault Meg for going where the REALLY big bucks are.

You can only grab so much cash as the C.E.O. of a company like eBay. Even when you have the whole board of directors & most of the stockholders in a trance...

But in Federal Government.... Yowza !!

No limits...

:O)

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman   eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

by: joe

Wed Sep 3 19:51:16 2008

McCain needs to distance himself from Meg she will help him loose.  Meg needs to distance her self from McCain if she really wants him to win.

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman   eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

by: John Gilbert

Sun Sep 6 07:19:44 2009

My ebay fees went from 1/3 to 1/2 of gross sales.  It now costs me 50% of gross sales for ebay fees.  Auction fees should be no more than 10% of sales.

eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman   eBay's Politically Well Connected Meg Whitman

by: John Gilbert

Sun Sep 6 07:20:06 2009

My ebay fees went from 1/3 to 1/2 of gross sales.  It now costs me 50% of gross sales for ebay fees.  Auction fees should be no more than 10% of sales.



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