“The Six Million Dollar Man” was so last century—the one to watch now is the $6 billion woman, Meg Whitman, 51, who turned a small Internet venture into a virtual juggernaut. When Whitman joined eBay in 1998, its revenues were about $4 million. She successfully parlayed her experience in consumer brands (where, among other things, she managed Mr. Potato Head for Hasbro) into the world’s largest e-commerce auction, one that provides a living for hundreds of thousands of people. She hasn’t done badly for the company either. eBay’s sales topped $6 billion in 2006, and 2007 figures are poised to better that.
Whitman’s legacy across the retail industry extends far beyond bidding-and-selling online. It includes the development of additional businesses under the eBay umbrella, including the retail portal