UWF to host Mark Whitacre, the inspiration behind ‘The Informant’

University of West Florida | news@uwf.edu

The University of West Florida (UWF) College of Business will host guest speaker Mark Whitacre on Monday, March 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the UWF Conference Center. Whitacre was the famous whistleblower in the Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) price-fixing scandal during the 1990s. His story inspired the 2009 movie “The Informant,” starring Matt Damon.

Whitacre’s presentation, titled “When Good Leaders Lose Their Way,” will focus on several key messages such as: learning real-life lessons in personal and business ethics; maintaining accountability; always doing the right thing; and thinking long-term for every personal and business decision.

Whitacre became famous in the 1990s when he exposed the largest price-fixing case in American history at ADM, a biotechnical company where he was president of the BioProducts Division. He went undercover for the FBI, wearing a wire to work every day for three years.

Today, Whitacre is the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Science Officer at Cypress Systems Inc., based in Fresno, Calif. In addition, he travels across the country sharing his story as the highest-ranking executive of a Fortune 500 company to become a whistleblower, as well as the lessons he learned from a nine-year imprisonment for embezzling $9 million from ADM during the same time period.

“I love speaking at universities, especially,” Whitacre said. “There is no better group to reach and send a positive message to than our future leaders.”

For additional information about Whitacre, visit markwhitacre.com.

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