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

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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.

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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."

(Image: HPE)

(Image: HPE)

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."

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 ... View Full Bio

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Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
8/9/2016 | 6:45:54 AM
Re: Meg Whitman was behaving like a politician -- and a good one
I guess I fail to see how, even if you're a Republican, endorsing Hillary Clinton in this election makes you "stand out" in Silicon Valley.  That's about as bold a statement in the Bay Area as saying "AI holds a lot of promise!" or "Technology is good!"  Whoopty-doo, Meg.  You're a real maverick.

Name three Silicon Valley A-listers who are endorsing Donald Trump (or, for that matter, any candidate other than Clinton).  I'll spot you Peter Thiel, and Carly Fiorina doesn't count.

Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
8/9/2016 | 6:40:16 AM
Not an endorsement...
This is not an endorsement or denouncement of any candidate.  Just pointing out: Party lines or not, in what dictionary is voting for the legacy Washington insider who is a member of the incumbent party over the political outsider from a non-incumbent party a "disrupt[ion]" of status quo???

If she prefers Hillary to Donald (which is hardly a controversial position, even -- nay, especially -- among high-profile Republicans), she can say so without making any high-falutin' attempts to pass off the endorsement as one of nobility and Silicon Valley savvy.

If she really wants to be disruptive with her vote, why not Gary Johnson, or Jill Stein, or (if she REALLY wants to be "disruptive") Vermin Supreme?

tl;dr: 'tever.
Charlie Babcock
Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
8/8/2016 | 1:34:54 PM
Meg Whitman was behaving like a politician -- and a good one
Meg Whitman may be a former technology executive, a breed that periodically goes against the grain, but she has opted to enter the political arena. And I think she's functioning with eye toward the future in the latter, rather than displaying traits carried over from the former. She separated herself from the pack with her cross-over, showed she could think long range for herself and showed the spark of courage. In the shambles that is sure to follow this election, she will stand out as a leader.
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