Whitman may have lost California's gubernatorial election, but she's still one of the most powerful women in technology. Currently the CEO of HP (HPQ - Get Report), Whitman has the company on a five-year turnaround plan. Although sales have been declining, costs have been reduced. Investors have begun to respond to the plan, as HP shares have jumped more than 80% year-to-date.
Prior to joining HP first as a member of the board then as CEO in 2011, Whitman spent a decade as CEO of Internet giant eBay (EBAY). Whitman joined the company in 1998, leading it just after it came to the public markets. By the time she left eBay in 2008, Whitman had grown the company from $4.7 million in annual sales to $7.7 billion in revenue. Following that, she spent $160 million to try to become governor of California, only to lose the Jerry Brown.
Before joining the Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP, Whitman served as a strategic advisor for well-known venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins.In addition to her role at HP, Whitman is on the board of Procter & Gamble (PG) and Zipcar. Whitman is one of California's richest women, with $1.9 billion in net worth. The Long Island native graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Business School. She is married to Griffith Harsh IV, a neurosurgeon at Stanford University.