Retiring HPE CEO Meg Whitman has a new goal: Partial owner of a Major League Soccer team

  • Meg Whitman and her husband Griffith Harsh joined a bid to bring Major League Soccer to Sacramento, California.
  • Sacramento is one of four cities from across the country competing for two expansion franchises.
  • It’s a new role for the tech mogul, who is stepping down from her CEO position at Hewlett Packard Enterprise in February.

Meg Whitman’s got a new gig – helping bring Major League Soccer to Sacramento.

Whitman, the soon-to-retire CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and her husband, Griffith Harsh, have joined a bid to bring MLS to the city of Sacramento. The couple joined the minor league Sacramento Republic Football Club’s ownership group on Wednesday, ahead of the club’s bid to move up to the big league.

“After careful consideration we are delighted to join in Sacramento’s bid for Major League Soccer,” Whitman and Harsh said in a statement. “Sacramento has proven itself a great soccer destination worthy of entry into MLS.”

Kevin Nagel, CEO of the Sacramento Republic FC, was in New York City Wednesday to compete for one of two national expansion slots. MLS, which currently has 19 teams in the US and three teams in Canada, intends to announce the winners of the two slots by the end of the year. Nashville, Detroit, and Cincinnati are also contending for the spots.

A spokeswoman for the Sacramento Republic FC said the investment group includes several high-profile local investors, including Mark Friedman, a minority owner of the Sacramento Kings basketball team; and Jed York, the CEO of the San Francisco 49ers football team.

Whitman’s next step has been in doubt for months now. This summer, she flirted with Uber about becoming its next CEO before losing out to Dara Khosrowshahi. Then last month, she announced she would resign from her role as HPE’s CEO without saying exactly what she planned to do next.

Despite her involvement with Sacramento’s soccer effort, Whitman isn’t a native of California’s state capital. However, she’s been an influential figure in the state since she joined San Jose-based eBay as its CEO in 1998. In 2010, she ran for governor, but lost to Jerry Brown.