If Meg Whitman runs California like eBay…

Meg Whitman for Governor of CaliforniaMeg Whitman announced today that she’s seeking the Republican nomination in the 2010 California Gubernatorial election. A political ingĂ©nue, it’s the first time she has sought public office but she has a distinguished business career behind her. Most notably as eBay CEO for the decade that saw it become one of the most successful internet companies in the world.

What can we learn about how Meg will govern California (if she wins) from her tenure at eBay? Here are some pointers and predictions:

The Campaign Slogan?
Meg’s a marketer. So why not reuse some of eBay’s successful marketing campaigns in the race for Governor? Get those Whitdorphins! Vote Victoriously! Whitman for California: The Power of all of Us!

Why listen to pundits and those pesky voters when the market can decide? Meg will go public and float California on the Nasdaq as soon as she can after election. She’ll get 6.6% of the state. It’s only fair. That’s what she got at eBay. Keeping California’s stock high will mean quarterly targets and reporting to Wall Street. Making sure every quarter is a success will mean that long-term investment and infrastructure plans and schemes certainly won’t be forgotten. If things don’t work out, expect speculation that California will be bought by Microsoft or possibly even merge with YAHOO!.

A ‘Growth through Acquisition’ strategy
Meg’s eBay loved writing cheques and buying companies: PayPal, Skype, Alando.de, Rent.com, Shopping.com, StumbleUpon. Can she make this work as Governor? Acquiring Nevada is clearly a ‘no brainer’. And when Oregon is bought up in a cash and stock deal as an ‘obvious strategic and cultural fit’, California Inc. will enjoy the Power of Three. The acquisition of New Hampshire will be judged a mistake when analysts claim California overpaid for a state that cannot be integrated with the core platform and doesn’t enjoy ‘obvious synergies’ with other properties in the portfolio. New Hampshire will then be sold to Google at a loss.

Guns, alcohol, tobacco: banned.
The sale of all guns, tobacco and alcohol (unless sold in collectable bottles) will be banned. PR risk.

All State Employees will be Paid with PayPal
PayPal is the fast, safe and easy way to pay. So all state officials and staff will be paid via PayPal minus fees of 2.9% and $0.30.

Bring on the MBAs
Meg loves MBAs and MBAs love Meg. She isn’t sentimental about loyal staff with distinguished service. Why get someone with genuine expertise and experience to do a job, when you can hire a Stanford or Harvard MBA in khaki pants and a buttoned-down blue shirt from the GAP to review and strategise about the very same job for three times the salary? Welcome to SacraMBAnto.

Taxes. Up. Thirty days notice.
Like fee changes on eBay, tax rises are good for you and they’re good for California. When Taxes are raised, it means a more vibrant state for everyone. New tax announcements will be made on town noticeboards in the dead of night. Interminable, impenetrable prose will be favoured. Meg also promises more nickel and diming.

Introducing the PowerCitizen Scheme
Californian citizens who pay the highest taxes will be invited to join the PowerCitizens scheme. PowerCitizens are entitled to wear a badge showing their PowerCitizen status and- erm- that’s it. Diamond PowerCitizens paying more than $2 million a year will have the opportunity to negotiate lower taxes. In a spirit of openness and transparency, the state government will pretend it doesn’t happen.

Death Penalty?
We believe people are basically good ’til cancelled.

Contact Governor Whitman
All communication with Governor Whitman will be conducted via email and outsourced to a dedicated team in Salt Lake City, Utah. For your convenience, automated replies with absolutely no reference to your original query will be used.

13 thoughts on “If Meg Whitman runs California like eBay…”

  1. If she runs California like EBay, I’ll never do business with the state again. I’m one of many former EBay customers who were treated like dirt when she ran the company.

  2. Don’t forget the required tax adjustments !

    She will raise income tax from 10% to 12%, claiming it’s only a 2% tax increase.

    Then she will lower property taxes from 10% to 8% and claim it is a 20% tax decrease

  3. Can I still buy knives from some dude on a street corner? what about all the fake gucci handbags and knock-off memory cards – she’ll ignore that for at least 7 years right?

  4. Brillant!

    One correction, outsourcing is now to India or the Philippines because they work for less. The language difficulty is an added bonus, incomprehensible accents discourage time wasting questions.

  5. I’d hate to see what the schools in California would be teaching the children.
    1. How to bid and snipe?
    2. How to create a catchy auction listing?
    3. mathematics by final value fees computations?
    4. TOS interpretation?
    5. Feedback critiques and reviews?

  6. There’s bound to be an expansion of state borders (to the far east maybe) and then an embarrasing withdrawal some months later….

    To keep revenues growing up and to the right look for ads just about everywhere.

    PS Google, for it’s own safety, should relocate

  7. Can you imagine the way crimes would be dealt with?

    Someone makes an accusation, you immediately go to jail, a notice is posted to everyone you know that you are a criminal and they shouldn’t deal with you, you are completely cutoff from communication with everyone (you’d don’t even get that one phone call), and every time you appeal to a judge he says you are in jail for completely different issues AND they can’t tell you who your accuser is due to privacy laws.

    Sometimes when you make an accusation they throw you in jail instead for the crime by accident. Other times they do nothing but tell you they respect the other guy’s privacy.

  8. Pingback: NEG Meg The Series « NegMeg

  9. Pingback: Time for a break : TameBay : eBay news blog and forum

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