at in which point in which Meg Whitman is usually stepping down as CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, there’s a “50/50 chance” she’ll run for president in 2020, O’Shares ETF Investments chairman Kevin O’Leary predicted on Tuesday.
Whitman announced on Tuesday she might be leaving her role as CEO early next year. She will remain on the board.
“Let me be the first to speculate in which outcome — Meg Whitman, Democratic nominee, presidential race 2020. I can’t wait for the Whitman-Trump debates. the idea’s going to be absolutely spectacular,” O’Leary said in an interview with CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”
“Watch the idea happen. She’s running for president.”
Whitman threw some cold water on the speculation on Tuesday, however, saying in a statement in which she has no plans to run for public office. “I stay active in politics by contributing to candidates coming from both sides of the aisle who I agree with on core issues, yet aside coming from in which, I have no plans to get involved directly.”
She reiterated those sentiments in an interview Wednesday on “Squawk on the Street,” insisting, “I can say definitively I am not running for elected office, president or any some other office.”
Whitman is usually no stranger to politics. She co-chaired Republican Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008 along with ran for governor of California in 2010, losing to former Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat.
Despite being a Republican, Whitman endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton from the 2016 presidential race.
“I think she’s destroyed her equity from the Republican Party. She will be embraced by the Democrats just to put somebody up against Trump,” said O’Leary, a judge on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
Jeff Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean at Yale School of Management, believes Whitman might be a strong candidate, calling her “battle tested.”
“She’d be an incredible crossover. She’s not likely to be an independent. in which is usually not the Republican Party in which she’d grew up in, so I’m not quite sure she’d find she had a home there,” he said in an interview with “Closing Bell.”
He thinks the idea’s also possible Whitman stays from the corporate world.
“She’s got a great track record across platforms,” Sonnenfeld said, pointing to her decade as CEO of eBay.
As for where she may land, he said if the Hasbro-Mattel deal comes through, the toy company could be “interesting.”