Meg Whitman

Net worth: $3.5B (Forbes, March 2020)

Meg Whitman is known for donating to Delaware’s most famous politician (Joe Biden) as well as running its most famous Tech Startup (eBay). She’s also known for losing a campaign to become governor of California.

Born in 1956 in Huntington, New York, Whitman comes from a long and distinguished family that can be traced to colonial America and potentially the Tudor dynasty in Britain. Initially intending to be a doctor, she studied math at Princeton before settling on a more humble career path and attending Harvard Business School.

Her first series of jobs included being a brand manager at Proctor and Gamble, a consultant at Bain, a VP at Disney, the CEO of Transworld Delivery, and the Hasbro Division General Manager, overseeing marketing of Playskool and Mr. Potato Head.

In March 1998 she became CEO of the small San Jose company eBay, which is coincidentally the same month eBay reincorporated in Delaware, eliminating eBay’s obligation to pay corporate income tax. Whitman’s next action was to get the company, at the time thriving under the Beanie Baby craze, into an IPO underwritten by Goldman Sachs.

During her tenure at eBay from 1998 to 2007, Whitman partook in such adventures as: “Spinning”, the practice of eBay executives buying shares of other companies Goldman Sachs was underwriting at a discount then selling them off after their IPO for a steep markup, a practice discontinued after it was made illegal in 2002 following the dot-com bust; buying a third of Craigslist to give eBay access to internal documents, then attempting to destroy it by launching direct competitor Kijiji; shoving a subordinate in an incident which had to be settled for $200,000; an antitrust lawsuit for illegal hiring practices after being caught coordinating with Intuit not to hire each other’s employees; and nearly tanking eBay stock after spending $4 billion to acquire part of Skype with no ownership rights to the underlying technology.

In 2010 Whitman ran a losing campaign to become Governor of California, spending $144 million in personal funds in the process.

Gawker also reported extensively in 2010 on Meg Whitman’s sons’ notorious public racism and hushed up rape allegations.


Episode 147: Meg Whitman (Biden donor)
Thanks for joining us on our International Woman’s day special! We chose to discuss the tenacious Meg Whitman. She grew up in the area of NY, that F. Scott Fitzgerald based the book The Great Gatsby on. Her parents came from families tied to Boston's elite, known as the "Boston … [Read more]