Meg Whitman Jolts HP As Its Reluctant Savior

To understand Meg Whitman, the former eBay chief executive who now runs Hewlett-Packard, it’s essential to revisit something she did 26 years ago. She had just become a junior partner at Bain Consulting, working for the brilliant but domineering Tom Tierney. One morning Whitman walked into his office, impromptu. The 31-year-old asked her feared boss if he wanted staff feedback about his leadership style; he nodded. With that Whitman grabbed a felt-tip marker and sketched a giant steamroller on a nearby flip board. “This is you, Tom,” she explained. “You’re too pushy–you’re not letting us build consensus leadership.”

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