The adage "branding is everything" would be an apt description to Meg Whitman's success in the world of business. She's best known as the president and CEO of eBay, and an engine behind the online auction site's growth. When Whitman joined the company in March 1998, it had 30 employees and revenues of $4 million. By 2006 eBay had grown to 13,200 workers and gross merchandise sales of $52.5 billion.
It was Whitman's understanding of brand building that got the attention of the people at eBay. At the time, Whitman was general manager at Hasbro, overseeing 600 employees. At first, she didn't see why she should jump from the toy behemoth to an online startup. She changed her mind after a meeting with eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, at which she saw the company's potential. One of her first tasks at eBay was to make the site more profitable.
In addition to her position at Hasbro, Whitman has worked as a brand manager at Proctor & Gamble, senior vice president of marketing at Walt Disney Company, and president and chief executive officer at Florists' Transworld Delivery.
Whitman earned a bachelor of economics degree from Princeton University and an M.B.A from Harvard Business School.
She is married to Griffith R. Harsh IV and has two children.