|Mon Mar 31 2008 21:56:50|
eBay CEO Meg Whitman Shares Advice at Utah Event
By: Ina Steiner
Outgoing eBay President and CEO Meg Whitman spoke to Utah executives at the Utah Technology Council’s (UTC) Annual Members’ Meeting, which issued the following press release about the event.
Meg Whitman, eBay President and CEO, Addressed Utah Executives at Utah Technology Council (UTC) Annual Members’ Meeting
"The Price of Inaction is Far Greater than the Cost of Mistakes" According to Whitman
SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--eBay’s growth has produced many lessons learned for Utah companies according to Meg Whitman, president and CEO of eBay. Whitman shared her own lessons learned recently with a sell-out audience of Utah executives at the Utah Technology Council’s (UTC) Annual Members’ Meeting at the Larry H. Miller campus in Draper, Utah.
At the event, Whitman noted that since eBay’s inception in 1995 the company has grown from 30 employees to more than 16,000, and has truly disrupted the landscape for commerce.
Whitman shared several key pieces of counsel including "Enable, don’t direct," and "Hire ahead of the curve." In eBay’s case, eBay sellers and customers have generated far better ideas than eBay corporate could have evolved. For example, a tremendously large percentage of eBay sales involve used cars, an idea that would perhaps never have occurred to a company whose initial focus had been on U.S. collectibles.
Another key piece of advice was "Level the playing field as often as possible." What ideas will give a seller next door the same opportunity as a large corporation? Whitman shared the personal story of a family whose teenage son was severely disabled. He became an eBay seller, and ultimately that business evolved into the family’s entire revenue and allowed them to purchase a new wheelchair accessible home and a van. The mother commented to Whitman, "The most important part of this business is the fact that within eBay, Kyle is not disabled at all."
Whitman noted that as a company eBay fears the price of inaction far more than the cost of mistakes. And finally, she noted that integrity is critical.
"If your spouse or mother or father or siblings were in the corner of the room, would you be proud of the business decisions you make?" Whitman said. "What if your decision were reported on the front page of the New York Times?"
At the end of the day, the only thing you will have is your reputation, she said.
At the event, UTC announced new leadership, naming Alan Hall, UTC trustee and Marketstar CEO, as its new chairman, together with Shawn Adamson, VP & General Manager of XO Communications, and Dave Clark, President and CEO of Prolexys, as his two vice chairs.
UTC also presented its 2008 Executives of the Year with the following acknowledgements:
Will West of Control4 as CEO of the Year
Dr. Michael Paul of LineaGen, Emerging Executive of the Year
Scott Bell of Alianza, 2008 CTO of the Year
Don Cash of Omniture was named 2008 Sales Executive of the Year.
Amy Esser of MasterControl as 2008 HR Executive of the Year.
Dave Clark of Prolexys and Shawn Adamson of XO Communications were named "Trustees of the Year"
In addition, Senator Curt Bramble was recognized as "Legislator of the Year." Public Policy Forum Awards were given to Jeremy Neilson, Peggy Wallace, House Majority Leader David Clark and Senator Scott Jenkins for their efforts on passage of legislation increasing the Utah Fund of Funds from $100M to $300M to help provide additional funding to grow Utah companies. Senator Wayne Niederhauser was given an award for reinstating legislation giving a tax credit to angel investors in Utah companies.
"We are celebrating record growth, both within our UTC membership and in the technology industry in Utah as a whole," said Richard R. Nelson, president and CEO of UTC and the Technology Associations of North America (TECNA). "This is a tremendous time to be doing business in Utah, and we look forward to another spectacular year the balance of 2008."
About the Utah Technology Council
The Utah Technology Council is the essential resource for Utah’s 4,900 science and technology companies seeking to develop management talent, improve Utah’s business environment and raise investment capital. Members can connect and share insights with industry peers, venture capital firms, professional service providers and government and academic leaders. Visit www.utahtechcouncil.org or call 801.568-3500.