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Mark Whitacre, Ph.D. When Good Leaders Lose Their Way

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  • 2010 Mark Whitacre Against All Odds

Mark Whitacre is an Ivy League Ph.D. and the highest-ranked executive of any Fortune 500 company to become a whistleblower in US history, and is responsible for uncovering the ADM price-fixing scandal in the early 1990's. Mark Whitacre wore a wire for the FBI every day for three years, the longest duration in USA history.

Dr. Whitacre holds the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Science Officer at Cypress Systems, a California biotechnology company. His undercover work with the FBI during the ADM scandal was the inspiration for the major motion picture, "The Informant," starring Matt Damon as Mark Whitacre, and the 2010 Discovery Channel Documentary, "UNDERCOVER". Drawing from his unique history, Mark provides one-of-a-kind insight into corporate ethics, corporate greed, and the warning signs of a flawed corporate leadership.

After simultaneously completing B.S. and M.S. degrees at Ohio State University in an Honors program, Mark then earned his PhD. degree at Cornell University in Biochemistry. Mark then worked for multiple Fortune 500 companies including Ralston Purina, Degussa (Evonik), and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). Mark was hired at ADM, a $70 billion company, when he was 32, and as the president of the BioProducts Division from it's launch, was the youngest Divisional President in the history of the company. In just six years, their fermentation complex became one of the largest in the world. At age 35, he became a Corporate Vice President of ADM and was the leading candidate to become the next company president.

Mark Whitacre has extensive international business experience, having lived for almost four years in West Germany, working for an international company. He has also been involved with two international companies in the Southeast Asia market and traveled the region dozens of times. Mark's more than two decades of top management experience at Fortune 500 and international companies, as well as his experience with the ADM price-fixing scandal and the FBI, give him a unique, seasoned perspective on leadership in the corporate world. Today, the FBI publicly refer to Mark Whitacre as a national hero. As Douglas Burris, Chief of U.S. Federal Probation in the Eastern District of Missouri has stated publicly, "The story about Mark Whitacre's redemption and second chance is one of the most inspirational stories of our time."


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