Whitman announced on Tuesday she would be leaving her role as CEO early next year. She will remain on the board.
“Let me be the first to speculate this outcome – Meg Whitman, Democratic nominee, presidential race 2020. I can’t wait for the Whitman-Trump debates. It’s going to be absolutely spectacular,” O’Leary said in an interview with CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”
“Watch it happen. She’s running for president.”
Whitman is no stranger to politics. She co-chaired Republican Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008 and she ran for governor of California in 2010, losing to former Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat.
And despite being a Republican, Whitman endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.
“I think she’s destroyed her equity in 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.”
HP didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jeff Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean at Yale School of Management, believes Whitman would be a strong candidate, calling her “battle tested.”
“She’d be an incredible crossover. She’s not likely to be an independent. This is not the Republican Party that 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 it’s also possible Whitman stays in 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 Mattel deal comes through, Hasbro could be “interesting.”
Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank,” which features Kevin O’Leary.
There's a '50/50' chance Meg Whitman will run for president in 2020, says Kevin O'Leary