Meg Whitman will join NewTV, a mobile-first media company incubated at WndrCo and founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg, as its new chief executive. She’ll be charged with steering the company as it seeks to bring Hollywood-quality production values and storytelling to mobile devices.
Whitman announced last November that she planned to step down as chief executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, after six years, and had been rumored as a possible successor to Travis Kalanick, the Uber chief executive who resigned amid allegations of a workplace culture marred by sexual harassment and discrimination.
“Meg is one of the most accomplished and sought-after executives of our time. She has built and scaled some of the most important global companies today,” Katzenberg said in a statement. “To say I am thrilled that Meg will be at the helm would be an understatement. Her leadership, operational expertise, and deep understanding of technology and consumer behavior will be invaluable in creating the future of mobile entertainment.”
Whitman is indeed a catch, having turned around one of Silicon Valley’s most storied companies, Hewlett Packard, and running its more recent business-focused spin-off, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. She served as president and chief executive of online auction site eBay, overseeing its growth from 30 employees and $4 million in annual revenue to more than 15,000 employees and $8 billion in annual revenue. She also has held executive-level positions at Procter and Gamble, Hasbro, Disney and Bain & Co.
“NewTV is one of the most disruptive and timely ideas I’ve come across during my career,” said Whitman. in a statement “I share Jeffrey’s vision that top-quality programming tailored to our mobile lifestyles is the next big touchpoint in entertainment. I’m very excited to bring my experience to a company that I believe will transform an industry and I am thrilled to be employee #1.”
The news unites one of the state’s most prominent Republicans — Whitman ran unsuccessfully for California governor in 2010 and worked for the presidential campaigns of Republican former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — and Katzenberg, a prominent Democratic donor.
The two, though, are aligned in their opposition to Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.