The Truth About Meg Whitman

Politico is whispering that Meg Whitman might head up president-elect, Joe Biden's Commerce Department. The republican CEO (who is currently at the helm of a failing streaming platform, Quibi) donated $500,000 to the Biden campaign in June 2020, per The New Republic. She also spoke at the 2020 DNC, asserting that, "Donald Trump has no clue how to run a business," (via Rev). And while Quibi may be headed for the graveyard, Meg Whitman certainly is headed for more successes — just check out her Linkedin. The Princeton University and Harvard Business school grad has also served as CEO for Hewlett Packard and eBay.

Whitman is married to a neurosurgeon. She once told The Henry Ford that she and her husband "used to say you know, we actually are sabotaging each others' career because no sooner does one get lift off than the other one has another idea." It's not that we doubt her. But honestly, it's hard to immediately see the sacrifices that Whitman claims she's had to make. In August this year Mansion Global reported that she listed a 2,300 square-foot Hollywood apartment (in the same complex that the likes of Cher and Elton John have lived) for $6.5 million. Forbes lists Whitman's net worth at $4.9 billion and places her as number three on 2020's "America's Self-Made Women" list.

Meg Whitman isn't new to politics

If you're outdoorsy and live in California, maybe you've run into Whitman fly-fishing. "There is something meditative about it," Whitman told The Henry Ford, "When you're fly fishing the only thing you can think about is fly fishing." But, if you follow California politics, maybe you'll recognize the CEO from her 2010 electoral campaign for governor. The New Republic describes Whitman as "a political crash-and-burn artist" for the way she blew through $140 million of her own funds without managing to clinch the election.

Whitman's campaign took a huge hit when her former housekeeper and nanny, Nicky Diaz, went on public record accusing Whitman of firing her after she admitted to the gubernatorial candidate that she was undocumented (via The Atlantic). "From now on you don't know me, and I don't know you. You have never seen me, and I have never seen you. Do you understand me?," Whitman allegedly told Diaz after she fired her. Whitman denied the accusations. 

Despite her subsequent defeat, Whitman insisted to Business Insider that she doesn't regret getting into politics. "I thought it was extremely challenging and drew on a lot of skills that the career politicians would have had that I didn't have." From the experience, Whitman says she learned that "the government is not like a business ... It's multiple, multiple constituencies, and multiple key metrics for success ... It's very different than being a CEO."

This is what inspired Meg Whitman to break glass ceilings

Meg Whitman is no stranger to breaking glass ceilings. For starters, she was part of the fourth class of women at Princeton University. "I am a proponent of risk-taking," she told Business Insider, "I always say the price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake." The formidable CEO owes her risk-taking attitude, in no large part, to her mother, Margaret. Margaret worked for the Red Cross during World War II. "They sent her to New Guinea," Whitman recounted to The Henry Ford, "when she got off the troopship in New Guinea, the base commander said, 'We need all of you women. We need airplane mechanics and truck mechanics. Which of you women would like to volunteer?'" Margaret did, even though she had no mechanic experience.

While always formidable, Whitman's mother changed after she took to China. "My mother had a chance to go to China with the first Women's Delegation to China post-Nixon's ping pong delegation," she recounted to The Henry Ford, "and she said to my sister and me ... ;I've just spent three weeks with some of the most incredible women on this delegation. And there's a whole new world opening up for you girls, and you should take advantage of this.'" After that, Margaret started telling Whitman and her sister, "You know, you can do things my generation really couldn't do."