Ginger and Mark Whitacre
Their story is about Hope, Family, Commitment, Redemption, Second Chances, and Overcoming Tremendous Adversity.
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. “It was Ginger who was the true whistle-blower of the ADM case,” Mark says when he shares their story. “If it was not for a 34-year-old stay-at-home mom of three young children, the largest price-fixing scheme in U.S. history may never have been exposed.”
Ginger remained faithful to her husband as he turned himself in to the FBI and served as an undercover informant for three years. Every morning at 5 AM, as her beloved spouse was being fitted with a wire, she listened to the agents telling him that this day might be his last, that if he were found out he would probably be murdered. Mark’s 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.
Mark faltered under the pressure and secured a golden parachute of nine million dollars for himself, and that landed him in the FBI’s bad book. He went from the inner circle to the witness stand, and was eventually sentenced to nine years in federal prison. Because of the psychological toll on Mark, the FBI no longer allows people to act as informants for more than a year. Ginger was the glue that held the family together as she began her teaching career and relocated her family every time Mark changed facilities.
Currently, Mark Whitacre is Chief Operating Officer (COO) of CBMC, an organization that has impacted his life greatly the past two decades. Since December of 2006, he has been the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Science Officer 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. Mark has shared his story at 671 events since he first spoke in 2009 and Mark recently presented on ethics at Morgan Stanley, CitiCorp, Toyota, Wharton School of Business, Harvard University, Cornell University, and MIT.