Whitman's Qualifications and What She's Been Doing Lately

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-09-22 Print this article Print

What Whitman Has Been Doing Lately

Since her election loss in November 2010 for the California governorship -- a campaign in which she spent a well-chronicled $150 million of her own money -- Margaret Cushing Whitman has consulted for legendary Sand Hill Road VC firm Kleiner Perkins and serves on the boards of directors of several other organizations.

Whitman, a native of Long Island, N.Y., and now a resident of Atherton, Calif., is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Business School. She worked at The Walt Disney Company as vice president of strategic planning in the 1980s. She also has served as an executive for DreamWorks, Procter & Gamble, and Hasbro.

Whitman was president and CEO of eBay from 1998 to 2008. During her tenure, the company grew from 30 employees and $4 million in annual revenue to more than 15,000 employees and $8 billion in revenue. Although she has experienced success in business throughout her career, Whitman has worked exclusively in the consumer sector and has never worked at or run an enterprise-focused company.

Although HP has extensive global consumer IT businesses involving PCs, printers and other devices, its shift away from the consumer sector to a sharper focus on enterprise hardware, software and services does not align with her background.  

HP Employees' Takes on Apotheker

According to nearly 3,000 HP employee reviews and ratings on Glassdoor, a jobs and career community, HP employees gave Apotheker a cumulative 58 percent approval rating (42 percent disapproval).

Apotheker's approval rating had been on a steep decline over the past few months; this past month he held a 25 percent approval rating (75 percent disapproval). When Hurd was fired, he held a cumulative 34 percent approval rating (66 percent disapproval) among HP employees, and interim CEO Cathy Lesjak held a 55 percent approval rating (45 percent disapproval) during her brief term as the top executive in 2010. The average approval rating for CEOs on Glassdoor is 62 percent.

Some HP employees also shed some light on what it's been like to work under Apotheker during the past year. For example, one HP marketing director recently commented: "Fire Leo. The man is flat-out incompetent. We've gone from one fiasco to the next under his reign."

Overall, HP employees gave the company a 2.5 (O.K.) rating (based on a 5-point scale).  

eWEEK East Coast Managing Editor Jeff Burt contributed to this story.

Editor's Note: This story was updated to state that former HP CEO Carly Fiorina ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2010.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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