As the race for governor of California goes into overdrive, auction giant eBay’s former CEO, Meg Whitman, has found that an incident from her days at eBay is raising its ugly head to give her more than campaign plate dinners on which to chew.
In an incident to which she admits, but calls an “anomaly”, Whitman had an altercation with an employee at eBay, while she was still the CEO, during which she “physically guided” the employee, Young Mi Kim, from the room in which they were both working.
Various stories have circulated about what actually happened, ranging from there being a verbal exchange, to Whitman guiding Kim out of the room, to Whitman shoving Kim.
Nobody knows for certain what happened, other than Whitman and Kim, but what is certain is that Kim received a $200,000 settlement, and is back at work at eBay, and Whitman has copped to, at least, “physically guiding” Kim out of the room.
Whitman claims, of the incident, that it taught her that “you always have to act professionally, right. You just have to be thoughtful about your interactions. It was an anomaly, and it’s one of things that happens in business.”
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Hey, not in my business, it doesn’t! What sort of businessperson says “Yeah, I got physical with an employee…these things happen in business”??
Of course, the campaign engine of Whitman’s rival for the California Governor’s seat, Jerry Brown, says that this demonstrates that Whitman has an “explosive temperament” that, they say, makes her unsuitable to be the next governor of California.
Said Jerry Brown’s spokesperson, Sterling Clifford, “The only thing that is clear is that Whitman doesn’t want to tell the whole story, and eBay shareholders paid $200,000 to keep it secret. Was it a verbal confrontation, was it a shove, or something more serious? Was it an anomaly or the kind of thing that happens all the time?”
Counters Whitman, “Listen, I bring tremendous strengths to this office. I have worked in business. I have met a payroll. I know how to get things done, and I am held accountable for results.”
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“Young Mi and I settled this professionally. She came back to eBay and we worked together for nearly a year before I stepped down,” says Whitman, adding “I’m very proud of how I ran eBay.”
So what do you think of Whitman’s explanation? Would you ..er… buy it now?
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