Posted by: Rachael King on December 13, 2011
(This story was updated to include Ranadive’s title in the headline).
By Aaron Ricadela
Meg Whitman, Chad Hurley, Tom Siebel and a passel of Golden State Warriors joined more than 300 other guests crammed in Tibco Software CEO Vivek Ranadive’s Atherton, Calif., mansion Saturday night for the executive’s annual Christmas bash. Amid the Indian buffet, sushi station and several wet bars deployed around the manse, Whitman took time out to tell me about her long-term plans at Hewlett-Packard, where she’s CEO.
Whitman, who took the reins Sept. 22, says she plans to stay at HP for a while. The company needs a CEO who’s going to stick around, she says, and she decided when accepting the job that she wouldn’t take a future position working for her friend and political ally Mitt Romney, should he win next year’s presidential election. Whitman is HP’s third CEO in a year and a half; she replaced Leo Apotheker, who lasted less than 11 months after succeeding Mark Hurd.
“I couldn’t take it and then leave,” says Whitman, who attended with her husband, the neurosurgeon Griffith Harsh.
After losing last year’s California gubernatorial election to Jerry Brown, Whitman — who was CEO of EBay for 10 years until 2008 — didn’t plan on becoming a CEO again, she says. Now, she’s taking a pragmatic approach to solving HP’s woes, which included several quarters of disappointing sales forecasts under Apotheker and his ill-fated decision to explore a spin-out of HP’s PC group.
Other guests at the swanky soiree, staffed by legions of waiters, bartenders and valets, included the Siebel Systems founder, YouTube founder Hurley, SAP Chief Technology Officer Vishal Sikka, and the academic Vivek Wadhwa. Also in attendance were players for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, which Ranadive partly owns.
Ranadive, who runs business software maker Tibco, has also been profiled by the New Yorker’s Malcolm Gladwell for the way he coached his daughter’s school basketball team, which ended up at the national championships. During the party, Ranadive’s home basketball court, which sits below his finished basement, became a dance floor for the younger attendees.