Retiring eBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman now joins ex-HP CEO Carly Fiorina on John McCain's campaign and fund-raising trail. Hmm. Former and Soon-to-be former Empresses of Multi-Billion dollar dot-coms and powerful computer industry giants -- are we seeing a pattern here? Is it possible that we could we be seeing McCain's first inklings of a running mate strategy, with the first ex-tech CEO as the first female vice-president? Frankly, I think the idea is equally as compelling as seeing a woman possibly rise to become president herself. Geraldine Ferraro clearly didn't have what it took to help push Walter Mondale over the top in 1984 -- but could one of these very smart and tech-savvy women help bridge the divide and seal the deal in this very divisive election year?
Look, no matter what side of the fence you sit on regarding any of the presidential candidates, the idea of someone closely tied to our industry being one heart-beat from the presidency is something that I think we all can appreciate. Face it, the US technology industry is in one hell of a slump, and we need an executive branch and a cabinet that fully understands all of the issues one of our most key industries is experiencing right now -- from the increasing and alarming trend of strategic outsourcing services talent to foreign lands contributing to keeping our own domestic and experienced technology professionals out of work and underpaid, and finding the majority of our components and systems and devices being manufactured in Asia while our own domestic manufacturing suffers. And who would know better about dealing with these problems than these two smart women?
Well, let's look at the two.
Fiorina, while a dynamic, personable and very intelligent woman, and who has a clear pedigree in managing technology companies, also presided over and engineered one of the most questionable acquisitions in the history of Hewlett-Packard (which in my opinion was the tip of the iceberg of some pretty dumb moves by the company, which included the complete emasculation of DEC's technology assets from the Compaq acquisition such as killing the Alpha, followed by its involvement in the development of the multi-billion dollar albatross known as the Itanium and giving up most of its chip fabrication capabilities to Intel) one which eventually led to her ouster and HP to lose the #1 PC maker spot to Dell, a spot that it did not regain until a year after Mark Hurd took over the company.
Whitman, on the other hand, has served as CEO of eBay for 10 years, bringing a company of 30 people to over 11,000, creating an online auction and shopping giant which has no equal in the industry, and acquired PayPal, Skype and many other companies in the process. She's also spent a sizeable amount of her own personal fortune on philanthropic interests.
I don't know about you guys, but when it comes to being a heartbeat away from the Presidency, I think I know who I'd pick.
What's your take on Tech Empresses in the White House? Talk back and let me know.