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Meg Whitman's Biography: Early life, Sh488B wealth, business acumen & personal life

With a net worth of Sh488 billion, US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman is the wealthiest person living in Kenya

US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman.

US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman was born on August 4, 1956, in Cold Spring Harbor, New York.

She was the youngest of three children, and her father was a businessman, while her mother was a stay at home mother.

Whitman's early life was marked by her mother's encouragement to have a "bias for action," and she overcame a birth defect called dysplasia, which affected her left hip.

This condition required her to wear a stiff metal brace with leather straps until the age of three.

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Whitman attended Cold Spring Harbor High School before pursuing a bachelor's degree in economics at Princeton University, graduating in 1977 and later obtaining an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1979.

She began her career in brand management at Procter & Gamble, following which she joined Bain & Company as a consultant and rose to become senior vice president.

She then took on executive roles at various firms, including The Walt Disney Company in 1988, where she was Senior Vice President of Marketing, and Hasbro, where she oversaw the global management and marketing of the Playskool and Mr. Potato Head brands.

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In 1998, Whitman joined eBay, a then-fledgling online auction platform, as its President and CEO. Under her stewardship, eBay grew from a small company with 30 employees and $4 million in annual revenue to a global behemoth with over 15,000 employees and $8 billion in annual revenue.

Whitman resigned as CEO of eBay in November 2007, but remained on the board and served as an advisor to new CEO.

After leaving eBay, Whitman ventured into politics, running as a Republican candidate for the Governor of California in 2010 but was defeated by Jerry Brown.

She returned to the business arena in 2011 as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, where she initiated significant restructuring, including the decision to split the firm into two separate companies: HP Inc, focused on printers and personal computers, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, focused on enterprise products and services.

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She left Hewlett-Packard in 2017 and later joined Quibi a short-form media content app designed for smartphones, which shut down after six months.

In December 2021, Whitman was nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as the United States Ambassador to Kenya. She was confirmed in July 2022 and took office the following month

Her successful run as a corporate leader in Silicon Valley paved the way for her ambassadorial role in Kenya, which is also referred to as Africa’s Silicon Savanna.

Her appointment was unconventional, as previous ambassadors to Kenya have been career diplomats with experience in similar roles in other countries.

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However, Whitman's extensive experience leading business organizations, from start-ups to large multinational companies in Silicon Valley, made her a unique choice for the role.

As the United States Ambassador to Kenya, Whitman has focused on supporting the Kenyan government's efforts on counterterrorism while also prioritizing sustainable investments for Africa's future.

She has emphasized the importance of strengthening the economic ties between the United States and Kenya, creating opportunities for businesses, and promoting trade and investment to transform the continent's economy.

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Whitman has also been committed to equality in education and the protection of the environment, serving as the National Board Chair of Teach For America and a member of the Nature Conservancy's Africa Conservation Advisory Council.

Whitman's diplomatic skills and entrepreneurship experience have created a unique perspective, providing a gateway that could transform the African continent.

Her speech at the American Chamber of Commerce summit in Nairobi highlighted the importance of strengthening the economic ties between the United States and Kenya, creating opportunities for businesses, and promoting trade and investment to transform the continent's economy.

Whitman's appointment as the United States Ambassador to Kenya is a clear indication of a new and evolving brand of diplomacy that prioritizes business and economic development

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Meg Whitman's net worth is estimated to be around $3.1 billion (Sh488 billion). She has amassed this wealth through her successful career in business, having held prominent positions in iconic companies such as eBay and Hewlett-Packard.

Additionally, her involvement in various other corporations has contributed to her substantial net worth.

Whitman's entrepreneurial acumen and leadership have been key factors in her financial success, making her among the wealthiest people in the US and the wealthiest person living in Kenya

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Whitman is married to Griffith R. Harsh, a neurosurgeon, and they have two sons.

Whitman is known for her philanthropic work, serving as the National Board Chair of Teach For America and a member of the Nature Conservancy's Africa Conservation Advisory Council.

She has also invested in e-sports startups and owns a stake in the Cincinnati Soccer Team.

Whitman is an avid sports fan and enjoys playing tennis and swimming.

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