A story in today's Bay Citizen paints an unflattering picture of Meg Whitman's tenure as CEO of EBay. Several anonymous ex-employees portray Whitman as a hard-charging boss who made snap decisions and dropped f-bombs in times of stress.
The story recounts an episode from 2006, in which Whitman got mad at her recruiters for not interviewing a particular candidate.
"Are you fucking kidding me with this shit? Do I have to fucking do everything myself? What is wrong with you people? I don't want to hear these fucking excuses. I don't need this fucking shit."
Sounds like Nicky Diaz got off easy.
Some in the piece argue this is rather typical CEO behavior, but that it might not translate so well to state politics. To them, there is a simple two-word response: John Burton.
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This profile succeeds as few others have in making Whitman seem human and real, which is no easy feat given the steady diet of corporate bromides and tired political cliches that have been served up by the Whitman campaign.
According to the piece, Whitman got really angry back in 1999, when the EBay website crashed. She threw a phone or a pager at a marketing executive from Veritas Software, when the executive said that a technician couldn't make it to a meeting.
"She was in a rage, swearing. Really hard-core swearing. I don't know how many times she said 'fuck.' Over and over and over. She laid into this poor woman. She just went on, wouldn't let go. Everybody was in shock and astonished at what Meg was doing. You just don't see this kind of thing in business meetings."
That crash could have destroyed the company, and they did get it fixed, so maybe Whitman had the right idea.