Meg Whitman's Clinton Endorsement: What It Says About IT Pros

HPE CEO and Republican Meg Whitman recently announced she will vote for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, a move that disrupts the status quo -- a personality trait common among IT professionals, says one tech recruiter.

Dawn Kawamoto, Associate Editor, Dark Reading

August 8, 2016

2 Min Read
<p align="left">(Image: HPE)</p>

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Disrupting the status quo is not a popular path for many individuals, but it is a common personality trait of tech professionals, says an IT recruiter.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman is the latest example of this.

Whitman, a high-profile Republican, announced Tuesday that she would cross party lines to back Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton rather than fellow Republican Donald Trump.

The Republican fund-raiser said she would not only give her support to Clinton but also make a substantial contribution to Clinton's campaign fund, according to a New York Times report. In an interview with the New York Times, Whitman said it was time for Republicans to cross party lines and "put country first before party."

The move by some may be considered fearless, but in the tech sector it more the norm than perhaps other industries such as the conservative banking or insurance industries.

"Disrupting the status quo is a built-in trait of technology professionals. They are expected, as a result of being in an ever-changing arena, to be able to shift directions quickly to meet demands and compete in the marketplace," John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology, told InformationWeek.

He further added, "The most innovative leaders are known for shaking up the industry, stretching boundaries, and taking risks with the hopes of improving the way we interact with technology on a day-to-day basis. Companies like Apple, Google, and Tesla all forgo convention for the sake of making significant impacts in their fields."

Other recruiting executives have a more tempered view on the personality traits of IT professionals.

[See Non-Tech Skills IT Pros Need To Succeed.]

"Clearly there are tech executives who go against the grain (Meg, Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Travis Kalanick), but I have no basis to say that tech executives in general are more likely to do this than executives from other industries," said Jon Holman, founder of the executive recruiting firm The Holman Group.

Although Whitman is willing to cross party lines to vote for Clinton and even go to the extreme of campaigning for her, she is not willing to abandon the Republican party altogether, she told the New York Times.

"I don't agree with her on very many issues," Whitman told the New York Times, "but she would be a much better president than Donald Trump."

About the Author(s)

Dawn Kawamoto

Associate Editor, Dark Reading

Dawn Kawamoto is an Associate Editor for Dark Reading, where she covers cybersecurity news and trends. She is an award-winning journalist who has written and edited technology, management, leadership, career, finance, and innovation stories for such publications as CNET's,, AOL's DailyFinance, and The Motley Fool. More recently, she served as associate editor for technology careers site

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