Meg Whitman as One of the Most Effective CEOs of eBay

Meg Whitman is regarded as one of the most effective CEOs of our times due to her contributions while she was the head of eBay. Her leadership at the helm of the Multibillion Company made her an icon in both the political and the commercial world. Whitman succeeded in a field where many companies were failing especially in the late 1990s and early 2000 are when internet business was crushed (Whitman). Her success seemingly was influenced by her application of Kotter’s 8-step process of creating change. As she joined eBay in March 1998, the company had 30 employees and the returns per annum were at $4 million.

When she took over the leadership of the company, Whitman knew she had to make radical changes that were necessary in order to influence growth. She created a guiding coalition by assembling a group of leaders who would push her agenda for change. This was achieved through splitting the company into different categories with executives heading each one of them. She changed her management team and placed Jeff Gordon at the head of PayPal, Matt Bannick as the head of the international operations, while Bill Cobb headed the US operations (Whitman). For this company to change, Whitman knew she had to change the way business was being run previously.

These included the change of a vision that went in line with her planned changes in the company. In the first six months of her leadership, eBay went public a move that elevated Whitman’s popularity in leadership. She began by integrating the stock market and giving value to the company. The leaders she appointed to help her to communicate the vision to the rest of the employees assisted the entire workforce to accept and internalize it. In an effort to eliminate obstacles that would hinder her bid for change, she empowered a broad-based action. Her goal was to change systems and structures within the company that would undermine her vision and ideas (Whitman).

Her short-term successes included careful hiring of the right people and her iconic Leading eBay’s IPO that paid off extremely well. She quickly understood the new business model and started implementing ways of making profits. Some of the short-term wins also included quick facts on eBay, the establishment of a ‘voice of the customer program, and the rewards received by both the company and herself (Whitman). Meg Whitman’s reign at the helm of eBay was not a smooth walk to prominence and fame. She had numerous critics who always disagreed with her decisions and who thought she was reckless with her leadership. Nonetheless, Meg Whitman paid less attention to the critics and she never gave up her vision.

When the chairperson of the US Securities and Exchange Commission expressed his reservations with the viability of eBay going public, she did not relent on her decision to follow through with her plan. Whitman went ahead and incorporated changes into the culture of the eBay community. She changed the leadership structure, which enhanced communication and focused on conservative and careful investments as opposed to the risk-taking attitude, which led to the collapse of other internet companies. She believed in doing a small number of things and finishing all of them than doing many things and finishing none. Her structures ensured fully developed leadership and succession structures. Therefore, Meg Whitman’s success was based on the application of Kotter’s 8-step rule. Her leadership model is a perfect example of an 8-step rule of implementing changes in any community or group of people.

Works Cited

Whitman, Meg. Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2010. Web.

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