Whitney MacMillan

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Whitney MacMillan
Born (1929-09-25) September 25, 1929 (age 90)
EducationYale University
Net worthUS$5.7 billion (January 2020)[1]
TitleCEO of Cargill
PredecessorErwin Kelm
SuccessorErnest Micek
Spouse(s)Betty MacMillan
Parent(s)Cargill MacMillan, Sr.
RelativesWilliam W. Cargill (great-grandfather)
Cargill MacMillan, Jr. (brother)
Pauline MacMillan Keinath (sister)

Whitney MacMillan (born September 25, 1929) is an American billionaire heir and businessman.[2][3][4][5][6] He served as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of his family business, Cargill, from 1976 to 1995.[1][2][3][4][5]

Early life[edit]

Whitney MacMillan was born on September 25, 1929.[3] He is the great-grandson of William W. Cargill, the founder of Cargill.[1][2] His father was Cargill MacMillan, Sr..[2] He has one brother, Cargill MacMillan, Jr. (1927-2011), and one sister, Pauline MacMillan Keinath.[2][7] He graduated from Yale University.[1][3][4][6]


He served as CEO of Cargill from 1976 to 1995.[4][6] He was the last member of the Cargill family to serve as CEO.[4] During his tenure, Cargill went from $10 billion to $33 billion over ten years.[3] By the 1980s, it became the world's largest grain company, outstripping its European rivals.[3]

He is a director of the Western NIS Enterprise Fund.[4][5] He owns and runs a cow and calf ranch in Park, Sweet Grass, and Fergus counties in Montana.[5][6]


He has served on the Board of Directors of the International Peace Institute, the Salzburg Global Seminar, the Rural Development Institute, the Trilateral Commission, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, the Ruckelshaus Institute, the Burton K. Wheeler Center for Public Policy in Bozeman, Montana and Yale University's President’s Council on International Activities.[5][8][9] He serves on the National Advisory Board of the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, MT.[10] He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, the EastWest Institute, Care International, Mayo Clinic and the Council on Foreign Relations.[5][6]

The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale is named for him.[11] In 2002, he received an honorary doctorate from Montana State University-Bozeman.[6] He is an Executive Fellow and teacher at the University of St. Thomas Graduate School of Business in Minnesota.[6]

Together with the Montana Historical Society, he is restoring the ghost town of Judith Landing, Montana at the confluence of Judith River and Missouri River.[6]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Betty MacMillan, and they have two children, Kate MacMillan Reed and Anne Pedrero-MacMillan.[1][4] He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[1][4] As of August 2014, he was worth an estimated US$4.8 billion.[12]

The painter Michael Shane Neal has painted his portrait.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Forbes profile: Whitney MacMillan". Forbes. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e Brian Solomon, The Secretive Cargill Billionaires And Their Family Tree, Forbes, 9/22/2011
  3. ^ a b c d e f Harvard Business School profile
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Forbes 2008: Whitney MacMillan
  5. ^ a b c d e f EastWest Institute biography
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Brenda McDonald, Businessman Whitney MacMillan to receive honorary doctorate from MSU-Bozeman, Montana State University, March 26, 2002
  7. ^ Mike Hughlett, Obituary: Cargill MacMillan, 84, company heir, The Star Tribune, November 15, 2011
  8. ^ Laurie Bennett, Billionaires Welcome on Think Tank Boards, Forbes, 2/05/2012
  9. ^ International Peace Institute Board of Directors
  10. ^ Museum of the Rockies National Advisory Board
  11. ^ The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies
  12. ^ The Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2014/08/01/whos-rich-around-here/?Post+generic=%3Ftid%3Dsm_twitter_washingtonpost
  13. ^ Portrait Painting of Whitney MacMillan by Michael Shane Neal