Maybe losing the California gubernatorial election in 2010 was the best thing that could have happened to 2010's GOP nominee Meg Whitman, the former president and CEO of eBay who, largely as a result of her tenure with eBay, is one of the wealthiest women in California.
If that hadn't happened, then she wouldn't have been available to agree to a new position at a technology conglomerate; On Thursday, Hewlett-Packard Co. named Whitman as the company's president and CEO. HP is the largest technology company in the United States.
Then again, maybe she got the worst consolation prize ever - according to Business Week, the company has lost $60 billion in the last year, under the oversight of Leo Apotheker, who will be leaving HP to make room for Whitman. Many tech analysts argue that Whitman is a bad choice for HP. Reuters reports:
Whitman, whose forte is consumer and Internet retailing, might not be an ideal choice, analysts say.
The failed California gubernatorial candidate transformed eBay from a few dozen employees in 1998 into a global Internet retail powerhouse, but the final years of her reign were marked by sputtering growth, intensifying Wall Street criticism and a string of unwise acquisitions, including of Skype.
The storied Silicon Valley computer maker is fighting to restore its crumbling credibility. If Whitman took the reins, she would have to galvanize growth at a company that gets more than a third of its revenue from a slowing European economy, and is struggling to offset sliding PC revenue with services and software.
"Some might be saying maybe Meg Whitman isn't the right person, either. She's not a hardware person,'' said Auriga analyst Kevin Hunt. But HP "just needs someone to set the direction.''