How Meg Whitman's eBay Tenure Stacks Up Against Other CEOs

More

whitman-as-ebay-CEO.jpg

Meg Whitman's name is back in the headlines with the rumor that she might replace Léo Apotheker as head of HP. The New York Times ran a rather catty article about the grumblings in the tech world at the prospect of the move. One of the kinder quotes went, "It's not a ridiculous choice. But they could have done better."

To me, it felt like people were focusing on Whitman's personal style and the lingering aftereffects of her GOP governor run more than her performance as a company executive.

I think this quantitative analysis bears that out. If you look at Whitman's tenure (late 1998 to January 2008) at eBay, she did well, at least by the bottom-line measure of growing net income. Stacked up against the most legendary CEOs of our time, she holds her own against all but the truly elite (Schmidt, Palmisano, Scott, Welch, Jobs). She's situated in a little cluster with Michael Dell and Michael Eisner, which isn't anything to sneeze at.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In