Meg Whitman: US appoints one of the richest Americans as Kenya’s ambassador

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  • Meg Whitman is one of the richest Americans. According to Forbes, her net worth is estimated at US$ 2.9 billion (Sh343.3 billion)
  • The 65-year-old was vetted by the US’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee following her nomination by President Joe Biden in December 2021
  • Utah senator Mitt Romney, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, described Whitman as the best-suited person to organise the US mission in Kenya

The United States (US) Senate has approved the nomination of Meg Whitman as the US ambassador to Kenya.

Whitman is one of the richest Americans. According to Forbes, her net worth is estimated at US$2.9 billion (Sh 343.3 billion). She sits on the boards of Procter & Gamble and General Motors.

The 65-year-old was vetted by the US’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee following her nomination by President Joe Biden in December 2021.

Mitt Romney praises Meg Whitman

Utah senator Mitt Romney, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, described Whitman as the best-suited person to organise the US mission in Kenya.

“We all agree that America currently faces enormous challenges across the globe. We also agree that we need our best and brightest to represent America’s ideals and interests. Meg Whitman is expertly suited to take on the hard work of organising our mission in Kenya and working closely and cooperatively with our Kenyan partners,” said Romney.

The US Embassy in Nairobi. [Photo/US Embassy]

Romney noted the US wants to see Africa prosper, with Kenya playing a vital role.

“The United States and the global community desire a prosperous, advancing Africa, and Kenya must play a pivotal role in stabilising and sustaining the region. America needs Meg Whitman’s character, judgment, and sheer determination deployed to Kenya as soon as possible,” he added.

Whitman previously served as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Hewlett Packard (HP) and eBay.

She will replace Kyle McCarter, who resigned after Biden defeated Donald Trump in the November 2021 US General Election.

Former US ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter. Photo: Nairobi News.
Meg Whitman’s profile

Whitman was born on born August 4, 1956.

The American business executive holds a bachelor of arts/science degree from Princeton University and a master of business administration from the prestigious Harvard Business School.

In the 1980s, she served as vice president of strategic planning in The Walt Disney Company. In the 1990s, she worked as an executive at DreamWorks, Procter & Gamble, and Hasbro.

She was appointed president and CEO of eBay in 1998. She held the position until 2008.

During her tenure at eBay, she was credited with raising the company’s revenue from US$5.7 million (Sh674.6 million) to US$8 billion (Sh946.8 billion).

From 2011 to 2015, she served as the CEO of HP, where the company split into HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

In 2014, Whitman was named listed as the 20th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. In February 2018, she stepped as HPE CEO before holding a short stint as the head of video platform Quibi which collapsed.

In 2022, she was ranked ninth on the list of America’s self-made women and 883rd on the billionaires’ list.

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