Meg Whitman off and running
February 09 2009
We told you more than a year ago that former eBay CEO Meg Whitman was eyeing a 2010 run at the GOP nomination for governor. Now she's made it official, announcing she has formed an exploratory committee. Now look for the battle royale to begin between her and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, who has been working this turf for more than a year.
Here's her press release this morning:
SACRAMENTO -- Republican Meg Whitman, former President and CEO of eBay, today announced the formation of an Exploratory Committee to seek the nomination for Governor in 2010. Former California Governor Pete Wilson will serve as Campaign Chairman, joining Exploratory Committee Co-Chairs House Chief Deputy Republican Whip Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, State Senator Tony Strickland, Assembly Republican Whip Nathan Fletcher and former State Assemblywoman Sharon Runner. In the coming weeks, through speeches in Silicon Valley, Orange County and at the California Republican Party Convention in Sacramento, Whitman will offer a vision for the Golden State.
''After careful consideration and with tremendous loyalty to our Golden State, I have formed an Exploratory Committee, the first step in the process of running for Governor in 2010,'' Whitman said. ''California faces challenges unlike any other time in its history -- a weak and faltering economy, massive job losses, and an exploding state budget deficit. California is better than this, and I refuse to stand by and watch it fail. Now is the time for people across the state to join in a cause for change, excellence and a new California.''
Whitman, 52, retired from eBay in March 2008 following a decade with the company. Under her leadership, eBay grew from a startup with 30 employees, $4.7 million in revenues, and 300,000 users to a global e-commerce leader with operations in 38 countries, more than 15,000 employees, almost $8 billion in revenues, and more than 300 million registered users. There are more than 12 million eBay users in California alone.
Jeff Randle, president and CEO of Randle Communications, is Whitman's senior adviser and has worked with her since 2007. Randle joins Henry Gomez, one of Whitman's closest advisers during her tenure at eBay. Together, Randle and Gomez are developing a campaign organization that includes some of America's most respected campaign professionals.
''Meg Whitman is a tremendous leader and team-builder,'' Randle said. ''California today has serious problems, but Meg is committed to working to restore the state's greatness. With new leadership and a new direction, Meg will forge a new California, which will once again be the number one state in economic growth, job creation and quality of life.''