Leadership style: Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay one of the richest female CEOs in the world.

Essay by monzur_pols February 2007

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What Pierre Omidyar created, in his San Jose living room to help his then-girlfriend collect Pez dispensers, back in September 1995 has turned into a very successful online business empire. Initially an auction based marketplace for the sale of goods and services for individuals, eBay is now all about e-commerce, that is about buying and selling products and services on the Internet via electronic methods (using the World Wide Web). It is classified as business-to-business, business to consumer and consumer-to-consumer. eBay has successfully implemented all these three categories in its business. An overwhelming amount of eBay's success is directly attributed to its passionate, loyal and evangelistic customers, who refuse to do business anywhere else but on the de facto auction site of the Internet.

In 1998, Pierre and his cofounder Jeff Skoll brought in Meg Whitman to sustain the success. Meg gathered her senior staff from the previous companies she worked at such as Pepsi Co.

and Disney, and created an experienced management team with an average of 20 years of business experience. They built a strong vision for the company that eBay is a company that's in the business of connecting people, not selling them things.

Meg Whitman has achieved success as president and CEO of eBay, now the fastest-growing company in history. The online marketplace has grown faster than Microsoft and Dell did in their first eight years, and if it were a bricks-and-mortar operation, eBay would be bigger than Best Buy and closing in on Lowe's. Whitman assumes her role with a sense of matronly duty, exuding warmth that belies her status as this year's most powerful woman in American business. Whitman's success stems from her uncanny sense of when to make a move and, more importantly, when not to - a sensibility many...