Meg Whitman Bullied eBay Employee, Paid Big Settlement

Three years ago, eBay CEO Meg Whitman allegedly engaged in physical violence in the workplace, per a New York Times report yesterday. As a result, “two… former employees said the company paid a six-figure financial settlement” to the victim, per the Times.

The New York Times elaborated:

“During her 10 years as chief executive of eBay, Meg Whitman, the Republican candidate for governor of California, was known as a demanding leader who did not hesitate to express displeasure with employees who failed to live up to her standards…

“In June 2007, an eBay employee claimed that Ms. Whitman became angry and forcefully pushed her in an executive conference room at eBay’s headquarters, according to multiple former eBay employees with knowledge of the incident…

“The employee, Young Mi Kim, was preparing Ms. Whitman for a news media interview that day. Ms. Kim, who was not injured in the incident, hired a lawyer and threatened a lawsuit, but the dispute was resolved under the supervision of a private mediator…

“An agreement to keep the matter confidential was also part of the settlement, and the authorities were not involved… Ms. Kim still works at eBay and is now a senior manager for corporate and executive communications.”

I have some thoughts on this ugly bullying incident of an underling:

  • Just imagine if Jerry Brown, or any male candidate, had engaged in the same violent, short-tempered behavior in the workplace. Their candidacies would likely be dead, the rightful victims of their own arrogant impulses and bullying instincts. Call this a gender-based double-standard.

  • “The authorities were not involved,” reports the Times. But it appears perhaps they should have been involved. Violent behavior occurred, behavior that may have constituted battery. “Ms. Whitman was counseled in the matter,” per the Times. But nothing else. I wonder… does Whitman believe she’s above the rules that pertain to the rest of us? Call this a likely double-standard based on special privileges for the corporate powerful.

  • Does California want a governor who reigns in the arrogant style of a billionaire corporate CEO? A corporate bully who literally shoves people around when she doesn’t get her way? When matters are not up to her perfectionist standards?

The Times quotes several employees who claim that “Ms. Whitman was demanding and would often express sharp bursts of anger toward employees whose work or preparation she found lacking.”

This is not the temperament of a person remotely suited to lead the great state of California, the most diverse, the most complicated, the most politically conflicted, the most frustrated and frustrating, the most populated state in America.

Meg Whitman would make a lousy, impatient Governor of California. Get the word out.

  3 comments for “Meg Whitman Bullied eBay Employee, Paid Big Settlement

  1. Ltpar
    June 16, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    “Just imagine if Jerry Brown, or any male candidate, had engaged in the same violent, short-tempered behavior in the workplace.” Oops, perhaps you have a short memory, but does the name Willie Brown, ring any bells with you. A ruthless and authoritarian California State power broker for many years. Want to count the heads removed and mayhem administered during his time in office. Got to admit though, he was very effective at getting things done?

    “This is not the temperament of a person remotely suited to lead the great state of California,” In case you haven’t noticed, the great State of California is not so great these days. Teetering at the edge of bankruptcy, it is clear that the temperament of both the Legislature and Governor “Terminator” has been a dismal failure. The “Terminator” ran on a campaign of taking the members of the Assembly and Senate to the woodshed and blowing up the boxes of government. While it sounded good coming from his lips, that is where it also ended. The “Terminator” never learned how to “walk the talk,” ending up as just another Republican In Name Only (RINO).

    Speaking for myself, give me a Governor with some business smarts, experience in hostile takeovers and the backbone to call out the spineless members of the legislature, both Democrats and Republicans alike and bully them into submission if necessary. That is the only way the mess in Sacramento is going to get fixed.

  2. Deborah White
    June 16, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Ltpar, Willie Brown is in a unique class of his own as a politician: he’s a savvy master strategist and a brilliantly effective leader, with tactics and practices that sent shivers of horror down my spine. Willie never entesr my mind when I talk about other political leaders. He has no counterpart.

    Regarding Whitman, the very last thing this state needs right now is another scorched-earth politico, especially another celebrity of sorts with absolutely zero public office experience. Arnold did plenty of calling out… but he accomplished nothing with it. Nothing positive, anyway.

  3. Ltpar
    June 17, 2010 at 2:49 am

    Deborah, when you refer to the “temperament” of a current candidate, you don’t get a free pass on who to consider, or not to consider in past persons of similar responsibilities. Can’t argue that Willie Brown was not a one of a kind guy, but his temper was explosive and his methods cut throat and we didn’t hear the Democrats whining about it? Sorry, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

    As far as another person with zero public experience. Well, one thing for sure, we have certainly seen what those wizards with public office experience, have done for the State. Just how long do you think any of those jokers could have worked in the private sector, except maybe as lawyers, using the kind of business practices applied in Sacramento. If you said, “five minutes,” you would have been in the ball park. They would all have been fired, long ago.

    Now you Democrats want to bring back “Moonbeam” who looks like an escapee from the Senior Home for washed up politicians. I am dying to see his astounding “new ideas” for getting California out of the fiscal disaster it is in. My guess is that his new ideas will be nothing more than more “smoke and mirrors,” which Democrats are so good at using. That is one of the reasons we find ourselves in this mess today.

    While I know little about what Meg Whitman did, or didn’t do, in the private sector. What I do know is, the corporation she ran was a lot more successful than the State of California has been. Without question, with the number of voters receiving government entitlements, Whitman will not get a favorable legislature to work with. As such, she will have to do a hostile takeover of State government. Show me any other way to do this than with a scorched earth philosophy and I will show you a State with no public employee unions, no special interest groups asking for millions of taxpayer dollars and a place where welfare payments are not among the highest in the nation. Whitman will have her work cut out for her, but frankly, at worst she would do better than the people who are running things now.

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