Margaret Cushing Whitman was born on 4th August 1956 in New York. She is a business executive, philanthropist and former politician who is currently the Chief Executive Officer and President of Hewlett Packard (HP) Enterprise. Meg Whitman came into prominence for her role in bringing eBay Inc. into global prominence. In 1998, eBay was a relatively small company with around 30 employees. Currently, eBay employs more than 15,000 employees and is worth around 10.8 billion dollars largely due to Whitman’s brilliance (Horvitz, 2006). This paper looks at Whitman’s strengths and weaknesses in decision-making and record of accomplishment in ethical decisions.
The ability to make important decisions characterize excellent managers. Meg Whitman has successfully done this in her managerial career, thus displaying her strong decision-making skills. Her ability to take calculated skills when she decided to join eBay from the better performing Hasbro is a good example of this ability. Whitman evidently follows the utilitarian approach towards ethical decision-making, an approach that involves making the best decision that is best for the greatest number of people (Daft, 2016, 2014). Whitman’s excellence has exemplified this propensity in human resource management. She is a participative and visionary leader with the ability to interact with employees and increase their morale. Whitman’s decision to lay down thousands of HP employees was also lauded as it helped HP cut down operational costs.
Despite Meg Whitman’s good decision-making, she has portrayed a weakness in several instances. A commonly publicized decision that shows Whitman’s weakness in decision-making was her overlook of the Japanese internet marking during her stint at eBay. She stated in an interview with CNBC that she followed her intuition to focus eBay’s efforts on other markets, especially the U.S., and forego Japan due to the huge technological capital the exertion would require (Morganteen, 2014). However, Japan grew to be the number 2 internet market in the world. eBay missed on establishing a position in the Asian nation, much to the regret of Meg Whitman. Another occasion that Whitman says was a mistake is her failed bid for the California gubernatorial seat in 2010. These failures in decision-making taint the legacy of Whitman’s otherwise successful career.
Meg Whitman has a track record of making ethical decisions. She has always insisted on making ethical decisions that satisfy as many stakeholders as possible. Her commitment to customer satisfaction, for instance, has shown her proficiency at enhancing customer loyalty by focusing on public relations. More significantly, Whitman has always been committed to creating equality and breaking down oppressive barriers at the workplace. For instance, she shared an open office with thirty subordinates when she first joined eBay: a move that increased employees’ morale (Whitman & Hamilton, 2010). Additionally, she campaigned against gender discrimination when she worked at P&G in 1979 (Sellers, 2009). She successfully fought against a company policy that denied female trainees access to credit cards. This portrays Whitman’s record of accomplishment in making ethical decisions.
One way in which managers can improve their performance is by paying close attention to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This involves making choices that are beneficial to the society, not just the company (Daft, 2016). CSR is important in increasing customer loyalty. Successful human resource management is also important in ensuring that the company’s workforce is motivated and productive. Finally, a utilitarian approach towards decision-making benefits many people. This is important in fulfilling the role of a business to make profits and satisfy its stakeholders.
Daft, L. R. (2016, 2014). Management. 12th Ed. The Evolution of Management Thinking. (p. 152 – 162). Retrieved from: https://digitalbookshelf.southuniversity.edu/#/books/9781305809772/cfi/6/2!/4/2@0:44.5
Horvitz, L. A. (2006). Meg Whitman: President and CEO of eBay. New York: Ferguson, an imprint of Facts on File.
Morganteen, J. (2014). HP’s Meg Whitman: One of my ‘big failures’ at eBay. CNBC. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2014/04/29/hps-meg-whitman-one-of-my-big-failures-at-ebay-cnbc-25.html
Whitman, M., & Hamilton, J. O. C. (2010). The power of many: Values for success in business and in life. Crown Business.