IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Meg Whitman biography: Salary and career history of HP's CEO

The lowdown on Meg Whitman's salary, net worth, education and career history

Meg Whitman

Full name: Margaret Cushing "Meg" Whitman

Age: 57 (4 August, 1956)

Nationality:US

Net worth:$2 billion

Salary:Was $1 per annum, but has now increased $1.5 million - a 15,000 per cent pay rise.

Education:According to Whitman, she was in the top 10 of her class at high school in New York. She went on to study science and maths at Princeton University, having decided she wanted to become a doctor. However, she switched to economics after spending a summer selling advertisements and graduated with a BA (hons) in 1977. Two years later she gained an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Best known for:Being the woman brought in to save HP.

Current role:CEO of HP.

Career history:Whitman began her career at Procter & Gamble, where she was a brand manager, before moving to management consulting firm Bain & Company eventually becoming senior vice president.

In 1989, she joined The Walt Disney Company as vice president of strategic planning, where she remained for two years until moving to the Stride Rite Corporation children's shoe manufacturer.

In 1995, she became president of Florists' Transworld Delivery, although she only stayed there for two years before becoming general manager of the Playskool Division at Hasbro.

But it is at eBay that Whitman really made her reputation. She was headhunted while working at Hasbro and initially turned down the job, saying she was "absolutely not uprooting [her] family". However, ultimately, she did join the company as CEO in March 1998, when it had just 30 employees.

In the 10 years she led the company, it grew to roughly 15,000 employees and $8 billion in annual revenue. According to Forbes, the majority of her personal fortune is still made up by eBay shares.

In 2008, she was inducted into the US Business Hall of Fame.

Some three years after leaving eBay, she joined the board of HP and was named CEO in September 2011.

Whitman was appointed as leader in a bid to turnaround the hardware manufacturer's flagging business: the company's share price had been in something close to freefall with operating profit running at less than 10 per cent of its revenue. It had also churned through two other CEOs in the 12 months before her appointment, which she claimed had led to inconsistency in strategy, causing to further problems in the business.

In 2012, she outlined a five-year plan, which looked to put greater focus on the cloud and reduce its product line in order to simplify its operating model. If the plan is on track, HP should return to growth in 2015.

When she left eBay, Whitman told the San Francisco Chronicle that "10 years is roughly the right time to stay at the helm at a company like [this]".

It is likely then that, should all go according to plan, we can expect to see her stay in place until roughly 2021.

Interesting fact: In 2010, Whitman ran as the Republican candidate for governor of California, but lost out to Democrat Jerry Brown. She also imported Teletubbies to the US while working for Hasbro.

Featured Resources

The state of Salesforce: Future of business

Three articles that look forward into the changing state of Salesforce and the future of business

Free Download

The mighty struggle to migrate SAP to the cloud may be over

A simplified and unified approach to delivering Enterprise Transformation in the cloud

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ Of IBM FlashSystem

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by FlashSystem

Free Download

Recommended

Laser printers vs Inkjet
Hardware

Laser printers vs Inkjet

2 Aug 2022
CMO job description: What does a chief marketing officer do?
Business strategy

CMO job description: What does a chief marketing officer do?

9 Jun 2022
CFO job description: What does a chief financial officer do?
Business strategy

CFO job description: What does a chief financial officer do?

9 Jun 2022
HP Envy 6432e review: Beauty that’s only skin-deep
peripherals

HP Envy 6432e review: Beauty that’s only skin-deep

27 May 2022

Most Popular

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security
Sponsored

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security

8 Aug 2022
How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

29 Jul 2022
Microsoft successfully tests emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system for data centres
data centres

Microsoft successfully tests emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system for data centres

29 Jul 2022