Former eBay Inc. chief executive officer Meg Whitman resigned from three corporate boards in a move that was widely seen as preparation for a run for governor of California.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is prevented by term limits from seeking reelection in 2010.

Whitman, who co-chaired Arizona Sen. John McCain’s presidential national campaign committee last year, quit the boards of Ebay, Procter & Gamble Co., and DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.

She is expected to face another former Silicon Valley CEO, state insurance commissioner Steve Poizner, and former U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell in a Republican primary. Both Poizner and Campbell have formed exploratory committees.

On the Democratic side, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Lieut. Gov. John Garamendi have formed exploratory committees. Former state controller and former eBay executive Steve Westly, Attorney General Jerry Brown, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein are widely reported to be considering runs.

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