Silicon Valley CEOs have at times played visible roles in politics. In late 2008, Google's then-CEO, Eric Schmidt, publicly supported Barack Obama in the presidential campaign.
Whitman's links to Romney are deep. She worked at Romney's Bain & Co. for eight years.
Rita Gunther McGrath, an associate professor at Columbia Business School, said that considering the length of Whitman and Romney's relationship, she's "inclined to accept [Whitman's] position... bearing in mind the risks." That said, McGrath added she might be concerned about Whitman "getting distracted with election-year politics when digging HP out of the ditch."
Sign up for MIS Asia eNewsletters.