Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth was the target of anti-trans backlash online over the company's recent Bud Light partnership with social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Mulvaney, who is transgender and has publicly documented her experience transitioning online, posted a video on April 1 announcing her partnership with Bud Light. On April 14 , Whitworth said in a statement the company “never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people.”
The same day the statement was published, screenshots of Whitworth’s LinkedIn profile went viral. The screenshots show Whitworth’s work history, and highlight a section of his resume that claims he worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
“Hey guys, I think I found the problem. The CEO of Budweiser is a CIA operative. No, really,” one tweet with four million views says.
Did Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth work for the CIA?
Yes, Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth worked for the CIA.
WHAT WE FOUND
Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth was an operations officer with the CIA from 2001 to 2006, his LinkedIn profile says. As of April 17, the profile was still active, despite false claims it was deleted “after his CIA connections were revealed.”
According to his profile, Whitworth “specialized in the recruitment and handling of human sources with access to vital intelligence that prevented and disrupted terrorist threats.” He was based in Washington, D.C., Pakistan, Tunisia and Iraq.
Anheuser-Busch’s leadership website also mentions Whitworth’s time working at the CIA.
“Drawing on his deep experience in the CPG industry and years in the Marine Corps and Central Intelligence Agency, Brendan has a unique perspective on our business and consumers,” the website says.
Whitworth also spoke to Fox Business in October 2022 about his time with the Marines and the CIA. He said he was stationed in Baghdad when he decided to apply to Harvard’s business school. Once he got accepted, he left the CIA to move to Boston for school.
So, we can VERIFY Whitworth was in the CIA, but he left the agency in 2006.