Meg Whitman was the CEO of eBay from 1998 to 2008, growing the company into an unparalleled engine of global e-commerce. Her thirty-year career includes helping many companies, including Stride Rite, Bain & Company, Procter & Gamble, Disney, and Hasbro. In 2009, she announced her candidacy for governor of California. She lives in Atherton, California.
As head of eBay, Meg Whitman's success earned her a reputation as is one of the most legendary CEO's of our time. In her new book, The Power of Many: Values for Success in Business and in Life, Whitman lays out the leadership philosophy that helped her and her team turn a tiny start-up into a revolutionary economic engine that earns tens of billions of dollars in transactions for not only the company, but for millions of people around the world.
By managing eBay with old-fashioned, common-sense values, Whitman unleashed a remarkable twenty-first century phenomenon that she calls "the Power of Many." According to Whitman, a Power of Many company takes advantage of the networking powers of modern technology to do things that would otherwise be impossible. The goal is to use technology to save costs and improve efficiencies, and to engage the energy, ideas, and goodness of people. It demands a style of leadership that emphasizes communication and openness, and, when difficult decisions loom, it demands that we consider the question: What is the right thing to do?
Whitman shows us that values like trust, courage, and validation are essential tools for success that go hand in hand with traditional business practices -- like holding oneself accountable or growing a company efficiently.
With a candor rare among CEOs of her stature, she reveals the decision-making behind many of the company's most strategic moves, and how her wide-ranging career at places like Bain, Disney, Hasbro, and FTD informed her choices. Whitman offers unexpected and intriguing insights involving situations where mistakes were made and where the course was not at all clear.
Ira A. Jackson is the Henry Y. Hwang Dean of the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University, where he is also a professor of management.
Margaret Whitman was President and Chief Executive Officer of eBay from March 1998 to March 2008. She is a Republican candidate for Governor of California in the November 2010 election.
Harvard Business Review named Whitman the 8th best performing CEO of the past decade and The Financial Times named her one of the 50 faces that shaped the decade.