Meg Whitman Joins Venture Firm Kleiner Perkins as Adviser

Former CEO of EBay Inc. Meg Whitman
Meg Whitman, former chief executive officer of EBay Inc. Photographer: Ken James/Bloomberg

Meg Whitman, the former chief executive officer of EBay Inc. who made a failed bid for California governor last year, joined venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a strategic adviser.

Whitman, 54, will work part-time for the firm, helping coach and mentor companies in its portfolio, Menlo Park, California-based Kleiner Perkins said today in a statement.

The former CEO, who sunk more than $140 million of her own fortune into the run for the state’s highest office, became a director at Hewlett-Packard Co. in January and joined the boards of Zipcar Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co. last month. Kleiner Perkins, which counts former vice president Al Gore and ex-Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker as partners, was an early investor in Inc., Google Inc. and Genentech Inc.

“Meg helped build EBay into one of the leading players in online commerce,” Ted Schlein, a Kleiner Perkins partner, said in the statement. “Her experience and strategic advice will be invaluable to entrepreneurs.”

Whitman, who served for a decade as head of EBay, took the e-commerce company public and built its market value to about $40 billion. When she stepped down in 2008, the company had annual revenue of more than $7.6 billion.

Her record wasn’t without blemish. In her final years at the helm, she failed to halt a slowdown in sales growth. A three-way bidding war with Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. over Skype Technologies SA forced Whitman to pay $2.6 billion for the international calling provider in 2005. EBay wrote down the division’s value by $900 million in 2007 before selling a majority stake in it.

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