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Former HP CEO and Republican Meg Whitman – who split HP with mixed success – says Donald Trump can't run a business

Vows to vote for Democrat Joe Biden instead - as will ex-HP chief Carly Fiorina

Former HPE chief exec and former Republican candidate for governor of California Meg Whitman has said she will support Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the upcoming US presidential election.

Whitman appeared via video link at the first day of the virtual Democratic National Convention alongside three other prominent Republicans who said they will put country before party by supporting Biden.

Whitman, who introduced herself as "a longtime Republican and a longtime CEO," said: "Donald Trump has no clue how to run a business, let alone an economy. Joe Biden, on the other hand, has a plan that will strengthen our economy for working people and small business owners.

"For me the choice is simple - I'm with Joe."

Whitman was billed as HP's former leader, a choice of words that ignored her time as eBay CEO, current gig atop cratering snack-sized-video-streamer Quibi and controversial tenure at HP during which she split the company to save it but later had to re-re-organise to sustain profitability after her previous plans did not bear fruit.

It was on Whitman’s watch - she was chairwoman - that the company made one of the worst tech acquisitions of all time, buying software maker Autonomy for $11bn. It wrote down the value of the purchase by a whopping $8.8bn a year later.

The other Republican speakers at the convention include John Kasich, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate and former governor of Ohio; Christine Todd Whitman, for the former Republican governor of New Jersey; and Susan Molinari, a former Republican congresswoman from New York.

Another former HP CEO, Carly Fiorina, who was also a 2016 presidential candidate, also said she will support Biden because he is "a person of humility and empathy and character."

Whitman's old pal Peter Thiel, who endorsed Whitman in her gubernatorial bid, remains firmly in the Trump camp.

Whitman and co's opposition to Trump seems unrelated to the Trump administration's heavy-handed tech policy, especially towards China. The opposition seems to be motivated by a combination of personal dislike for Trump, whom Whitman has previously called "a dishonest demagogue" who has "undermined the character of the nation", and an appraisal of his ability as a leader. ®

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