Meg Whitman

Meg Whitman was the youngest of three children growing up in an affluent family in Long Island. She was able to attend the best public schools and was a competitive swimmer who held the highest grades academically from an early age forward. Later, she attended Princeton and graduated from Harvard. This lady is not to be taken lightly. She is intelligent beyond comprehension and is in a position that she well deserves. Meg Whitman is the President and CEO of the greatest online business in the world—eBay Marketplace.

When Meg Whitman joined the throes of the corporate giant, eBay was on its way to corporate notoriety but had not quite lived up to its full potential. Whitman took over her position as the President and CEO of eBay in 1998 when the company had 30 employees and was only available within the United States. Today, over 9,000 people work for eBay and the company is a global giant which can be attributed to Meg Whitman.

Meg Whitman is family oriented and because of her affluent upbringing, you would think that she would be ready to ride the wave that her prestigious position within the corporate world brings. That’s not Meg. She has an open cubicle in the workplace and is surrounded by family photos and dozens of mementos which she treasures from her past. It’s obvious that Meg Whitman has a strong family connection and it’s one of the charms about her.

If Meg Whitman isn’t well suited for her position, then no one is. She has been a very hands-on CEO and has never taken her position lightly. When eBay ran into a would-be catastrophe on June 10, 1999, corporate executives from all over the world began to see the kind of leader that eBay had. And Whitman experienced the kind of stress that most CEO’s would crumble under.

On June 10th 1999, eBay’s site went down and it stayed down. Even though eBay’s site had crashed before, techs within the engineering team had always been able to revive the site quickly. Not this time and this time, all indications were that the eBay site as everyone knew it would not be coming back as it was before. Millions of people world wide were on a limb as they saw business transactions failing all because the site crashed without warning and was temporarily crippled. While some eBayers may have thought it was only temporary, a good number of eBay customers were very disturbed. And eBay engineers and executives joined the ranks of being disturbed.

Whitman could’ve waited from home as many CEOs might have preferred to do had they been her shoes, but not Meg Whitman. The President and CEO of eBay went into the trenches with her staff of fearless and dedicated individuals and from Thursday until that following Monday, they all camped out on cots for short naps and breaks whenever needed and possible. And their leader never left their side until eBay was back online and stable again.

Meg Whitman donated more than 30 million dollars to Princeton University and the university plans to use the money wisely. In fall 2007, Whitman College at Princeton will become the sixth residential college at Princeton University. Meg Whitman’s contribution will enable more dreams to be realized through a Princeton education.

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