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Mon Jan 5 2009 19:39:28

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

By: Ina Steiner

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Meg Whitman fueled speculation that she was readying a run for office of California governor when it became public today that she stepped down last week from several corporate boards she was serving. After retiring from eBay in March, the former President and CEO had stayed on as Special Advisor to the new president and CEO, a role that netted her compensation of up to $1.2 million a year. She terminated that position on December 31 and resigned from the eBay Board of Directors.  

According to eBay, "Whitman's decision to resign is solely for personal reasons and time considerations and did not involve any disagreement with the Company, the Company's management or the Board of Directors."

John Donahoe, who took over from Meg as eBay President and CEO, on March 31st of this year, issued the following statement. "Meg's vision and leadership and her passion for the eBay community have helped create economic opportunity for millions of people worldwide and enabled us to build a dynamic portfolio of leading online businesses. Her experience and insights will be missed, but Meg will always be a part of the eBay family, and we wish her the very best."

It's not clear whether Meg will continue to receive the use of office space and IT and secretarial services, a perk granted her from eBay for three years after her retirement.*

The Los Angeles Times reported Meg's interest in a run for governor one year ago. Since then, Meg switched her support to John McCain after Mitt Romney's failed bid for the Republican Presidential nomination. She was cited as possible running mate to John McCain, and she gave a speech at the Republican National Convention.

She had long used her clout as eBay CEO to network with politicians, but may find that getting votes is a different challenge altogether.

While Meg has not said she's planning a run for governor of California, all signs point to it. She recently tried to obtain the Internet domain names whitmanforgovernor.com, meg2010.com and whitman2010.com, although her lawyers bungled that. Worse, she was told the she didn't have enough brand recognition to win them back.

Update: We asked eBay whether Meg would continue to receive the use of office space and IT and secretarial services as provided her when she stepped down as President and CEO. Spokesperson Jose Mallabo said, "Meg's resignation from eBay's Board of Directors does not affect the agreement she has with the company related to her retirement as CEO."

Is it possible Meg is readying a political launch using eBay resources? While the perks are a bit bizarre (does she have a full-time secretary at eBay? can she get an IT guy or gal to fix her laptop or create a website?), she is perfectly entitled to use them under the provisions of her golden parachute agreement with eBay. But it seems odd from a political standpoint, and rather awkward for both her and eBay should she throw her hat in the ring. 




Comments (42) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

by: California Dreamin!

Mon Jan 5 20:29:14 2009

Hey Ming,

Start organizing your empirical data to counter the fantasy that Meg's campaign is going to use to portray her as the champion of the common people, providing full-time, glorious employment for countless millions of happy, lucky, ebay sellers.

McCain namechecked Meg twice in the debates, as someone who ''knows how to
create jobs''. Didn't work, too much data out there to the contrary.

Meg will govern by the rich for the rich. Bloggers and ebay realists unite!

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

by: nora

Mon Jan 5 20:36:08 2009

I'm from California and an X-eBay Seller and I'm feeling nauseous.

My vote is a Big Fat... 'Hell NO'!

Down with all the greedy bastards!
She would not represent the people, just big corporations.
She thinks we're noise.
I’m tired of all this greed.
Set her out to pasture.
This country needs a change!

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

by: ss

Mon Jan 5 20:53:09 2009

Well if the people of California vote her in they get exactly what they deserve. On second thought better it run in California than where I live.

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Mon Jan 5 21:24:28 2009

After spending $2.6 billion on Skype, and then writing most of it off, she could be the worst governor for California. As her Henry Gomez said: We're retired. We're bored. They both should know that politicians work FOR the people and not the people for the politicians.

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Mon Jan 5 21:33:03 2009

Just the thought that she could become governor makes me feel sick.

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

by: dimes

Mon Jan 5 21:53:02 2009

Gawker ran an interesting story a few weeks ago about the recently-registered-as-a-Republican Ms Whitman, questioning whether her anti-gay stance would in any way help her get elected in California.  The consensus seems to be 'Hell, no', but then gawker isn't known for its far-right views.

Of course, neither is California.

http://valleywag.gawker.com/5109035/meg-whitman-hom
ophobe

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

by: Patrick Alexander

Mon Jan 5 22:10:12 2009

Obviously, she is trying to ''distance'' herself from the mess that eBay has become.

Being associated with the company - especially in top management, no longer holds a positive connotation.

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

by: TED

Tue Jan 6 00:37:45 2009

I'm sorry I read this email while having dinner. I think I'm gonna be real sick.

I thought we couldnt get any lower with the Clinton clan and Snort'em Bush but I guess I was wrong.

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

by: bite me

Tue Jan 6 00:49:37 2009

I think meg would be a great choice for CA. I intend to vote for her, and I think her stance on gay marriage is great. GO MEG!!

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

by: Centaur

Tue Jan 6 01:48:45 2009

If she does to California what she did to eBay, I think California residents can look forward to being the proud owners of smaller states and countries that are ripe for takeover. And higher user fees.

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

by: Nikki

Tue Jan 6 02:08:15 2009


Delusion, they name is Whitman.

On the other hand, lord knows the state could use a significant infusion of cash.  If Meg wants to spend her billions breathing life back into our tax base, more power to her.  Spend early, spend often; the state's due to go broke in about a month.  If that happens, let's see a Republican get anywhere near the governor's office.

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

by: tj

Tue Jan 6 02:28:30 2009

ROFLMAO

U.S.A you could not make this sh"t up ...says alot about your problems over there ?

I bet there is going to be more anouncements over the coming couple of months as Donnaho gets the message (YOUR THE FALL GUY)...LOL  

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

by: ligafra69

Tue Jan 6 09:53:35 2009

Thank goodness I left California many years ago and live somewhere in the Midwest.

If I still lived in CA and Meg decided to run for any public office, I would have to get out and protest.

Meg needs to just go away...far, far away.

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

by: ron

Tue Jan 6 10:58:51 2009

Why does she need to go away ligafra69?
Bob, why does it make you sick? Because you are jealous of her success in life and her bank account?? What did she ever do for you besides help create the largest platform to sell about anything on the web? So she made a bad buy with Skype. Are ya'll perfect? Im sure that everything you buy nets you 400% right? lol! You comment posters are a freaking joke with all your negative comments. I bet you are all a really big treat to live with!

I say bring it on Meg and if I lived in Calif I would vote for her. Hell at least she can speak the English language. I mean come on those silly Right Coasters voted in The Terminator. She cant do any worse than him can she?

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Tue Jan 6 11:26:09 2009

Ron, I am sure your great grandparents were immigrants as well and could not speak the english language perfect, if at all. They probably felt welcome in America, when another Ron came along and criticised them. I bet they would be proud of you today with your racial remarks above.

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

by: Karma

Tue Jan 6 11:59:33 2009

Ron... how many languages do you speak????

Meg left the sinking ship, it has - but of course not - nothing to do with her bad choice of JD....

She put a Natter on her chest and now does not like the poison bite...

And yes, I am German, first generation living on American soil, 10 year ebay ps, now listing also on 5 other sites, besides ebAd.



Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

by: unaware

Tue Jan 6 12:00:50 2009

Good Riddance!.... Good luck with your bid for Governor Meg because you will need it. I have always maintained that eBay grew in spite of her and not because of her. Most people just remember her recent years at eBay but I remember her early mistakes... the buying of the auction house Butterfield & Butterfield in 1999 and the destruction that she caused to what had previously been a fine business; the purchase of Half.com which had been a up and coming sale venue that she COULD have grown into a Amazon like shopping experience but instead decided to kill it off; the reactionary response to Gun sales on eBay and killing the category off (just walked away from a huge market... some creative thinking could have allowed eBay to run a separate site for Gun auctions instead of opening the door for the sites that now control that market segment); the early changes made with categories in media (books) that absolutely killed the browsing experience for books (they have since made improvements through the years to the book categories but the first year after the change was very rough). In addition she did not keep up with the technology changes that were occurring while she was in charge.... did you read the stories several years ago by some of the eBay tech managers who had recently been hired by eBay.... they could not believe that eBay would make huge changes in their price models without real data to backup what they were doing (such as the first time they put eBay store inventory in regular search.... they had no idea how it was going to affect income ahead of time!... that is why they reversed it after only a short period of time). California can have Meg.... if they are stupid enough to vote for this ''place holder'' manager then they deserve her!          

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

by: Patricia

Tue Jan 6 13:08:34 2009

She's not only foolish enough to run for governor of California...she's also naive and dense enough to brag about the Ebay ''community'' and how she lovingly brought it together!  Donahoe is already backing her up on that subject!  Apparently, they believe the voting public to be stupid and out of touch!  Well, there are a LOT of angry small sellers in California that will be spreading the TRUTH!

Hey, she can always open her own website and let only the voters of California go there to make their own snowman - that ought to do it ;-)

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

by: good luck

Tue Jan 6 14:01:34 2009

If Meg Whitman thinks she can waltz onto the political stage and win the Governorship, she got a shock coming.

Nothing about her is appealing.  She is arrogant and self-serving, and does not know how to be humble and mean it.

She will hire high paid consultants to tell her what she wants to hear.  She will hire Political Spin Doctors to pump out campaign rhetoric.

... and then "do it her way" or else, and she will go down in flames.

This should be fun to watch.  I predict that voters will not vote victoriously.  

Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor   Meg Whitman Resigns from eBay Board, May Run for Governor

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Jan 6 16:11:10 2009

@ Beachy

IMO, empirical data generally has little influence on elections. and, even if it did, it would be monster task collecting and verifying data.

What does have influence on elections are:

1. Contributions. Every past and present aggrieved seller should donate whatever they can to her opposition.

2. Anecdotal 'data.' California sellers could should begin organizing a well orchestrated letters to the editor campaign NOW with stories outing Whitman for the deceitful, shortsighted, power crazed, and greedy individual that she is with little actual business ability citing how her decisions adversely impacted not only their ebay businesses but ebay as a whole.

3. An entrepreneurial seller could have some NO MEG (the circle with the line through it overher name) bumper stickers and pins made and sell them on ebay and other sites.

One could also include a rather long list of lawsuits ebay either lost or was forced to settle for stealing other companies' software as well as how Meg made billions off the backs of ebay sellers and then destroyed most of them.

3. Meg Whitman: the party of George W. Bush, Karl Rove, John McCain, etc. with the same CEO mentality that created the necessity for bailouts. Couldn't formulate a business plan beyond the next fiscal quarter. Bad, inept leadership: made a string of stupid decisions -- Skype, ebay Express, the Chinese fiascos, and so many, many more.

California sellers should be very vocal with other Californians about how Meg's thirst for power, money, inability and/or refusal to think in the long term and accolades ruined a once great corporation. Either of my dogs could have successfully run ebay in its heyday, but instead of looking far into the future as ebay matured, Meg continited to think only in 90 day increments.

People like Meg Whitman are so insulated from reality that most of them have no concept whatsoever of the public's perception of them.

She deserves to be painted with same brush as all the other corporate failures and Republican fat cats whose fortunes came at the expense of people who actually work. Californians might also be interested to learn that ebay keeps a lot of cash in offshore banks to avoid paying federal taxes.

The list of her negatives could go on and on, but the most important negative is that she's incompetent. By the time the heavy campaigning starts, California based ebay sellers could have successfully created such a long list of negatives that she wouldn't be able to overcome them.

California doesn't need a mommy governor whose principle positive is that she knows the words to "Kumbaya."

California literally can't afford Meg Whitman. If she couldn't get it right with ebay -- and she didn't -- she'll make California's financial situation even worse.

California doesn't need any additional LYING politicians. I'm sure they're enough there already.

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