“This company is not fixable, at least not by me,” Whitman wrote in her book, “The Power of Many.” She calls her tenure there “probably the most frustrating and, ultimately, least successful executive experience of my career.”
Other types of concerns have been raised about Whitman.
She was named to HP’s board this year as part of a sweeping overhaul under Apotheker and Lane. They were supposed to be steadying hands. But almost immediately, corporate governance experts began crying foul. They took issue with the fact Whitman’s hiring by esteemed venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where Lane works, was announced a week after she was formally elected to HP’s board.
Several unflattering incidents helped scuttle her gubernatorial campaign.
She was revealed to have shoved an eBay employee during a disagreement, which led to a six-figure settlement. Whitman said the altercation was an anomaly and taught her to always be professional. It was also revealed that her former housekeeper of nine years was an illegal immigrant.
To complicate matters further, Whitman was a board member at Goldman Sachs when it allegedly engaged in the now-illegal practice called “spinning,” in which wealthy clients and CEOs whose companies did business with Goldman received early access to IPO shares, which they flipped quickly for large profits. Whitman said she forfeited the $1.8 million she made from the deals in a lawsuit she settled with eBay shareholders.
Associated Press writer Juliet Williams in Sacramento and AP Business Writer Chip Cutter in New York contributed to this report.