It's over. Disney's
The announcement came one day after The Wall Street Journal reported that eBay
Whitman's move may not come as much of a surprise to listeners of The Motley Fool Radio Show. We had her on last month and asked her whether she was interested in running Disney. She responded that she would not want the CEO gig there because she was already at the helm of best company in the world.
Whitman would have been a great mouse-eared chief. She was an executive at Disney's consumer-products division before making the move to eBay. She also excelled in marketing at toy maker Hasbro
Disney will be missing out on a proven creator of wealth here, but Whitman could be making an even bigger mistake. Disney is starting to turn itself around. From ABC's strong comeback to the banner year that looks to be in store for the theme parks, Disney could have given her easy accolades as inertia did its thing. Indeed, staying at eBay may be the riskier thing for Whitman to do.
Why? Well, because there are more than a few signs indicating that eBay's high-growth days are a thing of the past. This year, the company is looking to grow earnings per share by no more than 24%. The world's leading auctioneer is also showing symptoms of vulnerability. It recently had to scale back a recent fee hike, and it seems to be offering cut-rate listing promotions at a feverish pace these days. Rule Breakers newsletter recommendation Overstock.com
We may never know whether Disney's board had finally snapped out of its hypnotic spell and was ready to hire an outsider the way it did in 1984. But Whitman would have been smart to keep her hat in the ring anyway. Instead, Disney and Meg both took the easy way out -- and it's a shame.
Here are a few recent Disney and eBay headlines:
- See how eBay stacks up against Google.
- Check out what happens when auctions collide.
- Read why Disney is likely to have a magical 2005.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz thinks that Meg Whitman's ability to grow a community would have served her well at Disney. He owns shares of Disney. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.