Whistle-blower to tell corporate tale at La Jolla luncheon


The 2009 movie “The Informant!,” starring Matt Damon, is based on the real-life story of Mark Whitacre, the 1990s whistle-blower in the infamous Archer Daniels Midland price-fixing conspiracy.

Whitacre, the FBI’s key informant in the case, has bipolar disorder and will discuss his life journey as a guest of the International Bipolar Foundation at a luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24 at the Estancia La Jolla Hotel.

Whitacre, an Ivy League, Ph.D. and the highest-ranked executive of any Fortune 500 company to become a whistle-blower in U.S. history, currently holds the position of chief operating officer and president of operations at Cypress Systems, Inc.

Drawing from his unique history, he will provide 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, Whitacre earned his Ph.D. at Cornell University in Nutritional Biochemistry. He worked for multiple Fortune 500 companies, including Ralston Purina, Degussa (Evonik), and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).

He 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, its 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.

His more than two decades of top management experience, 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.

RSVP for lunch tickets, $65, by Jan. 15 to Ashley Jacobs at (858) 764-2496 or e-mail areitzin@

Checks can be made payable to International Bipolar Foundation and mailed to 8895 Towne Centre Drive, Suite 105-360, San Diego, CA 92122. More information at

--Staff Reports