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The Real Informant

Mark Witacre

The movie The Informant starring Matt Damon is based on the real-life story of Mark Whitacre, the 1990’s whistleblower in the infamous Archer Daniels Midland price-fixing conspiracy. What you may not know is that Mark Whitacre, the FBI’s key informant in the case, has bipolar disorder.

Whitacre, an Ivy League, Ph.D. and the highest-ranked executive of any Fortunate 500 company to become a whistleblower in US history, currently holds the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) and President of Operations at Cypress Systems, Inc. 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, Mark then earned his Ph. D. degree at Cornell University in Nutritional Biochemistry. Mark then worked for multiple Fortune 500 companies including Ralston Purina, Degussa (Evonik), and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). Mark was hired at ADM when he was 32, and as the president of the BioProducts Division from its 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.

Dr. 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. As Mr. 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.”