Ryan B. Whitacre Managing Director

Ryan Whitacre


The Power of a Diverse-Majority Legal Department July 13, 2018 Ryan Whitacre shares insights from his former coll... Read More
Stay or Go: Reading the Tea Leaves of a CEO Transition as General Counsel June 18, 2018 Leadership transitions put employees on edge, and ... Read More
Q&A: Title IX in the Wake of the USC Physician Sexual Misconduct Scandal June 11, 2018 MLA's Ryan Whitacre holds a QA with Natalie Brouwe... Read More
No Network, No Work – Business Development Doesn’t Stop Once You Go In-House January 4, 2016 Read the reality of business development as an in-... Read More

In the News

Musk Divorce Lawyer Top Counsel at Tesla as Legal Woes Mount April 12, 2018 Thorny legal issues are common at trailblazing tec... Read More

I’ve been in the in-house counsel seat myself so clients and candidates can be sure they receive the best guidance and service from someone who truly understands both sides of the process—and only wants the best outcome for everyone involved.

Ryan B. Whitacre is a Managing Director in our In-House Practice Group. His experience as in-house counsel is sought out by clients who value his ability to recognise their specific requirements and then assess the talent to match. Clients have entrusted Ryan to place an array of senior legal posts, including general counsel, chief legal officer, chief compliance officer, and chief IP counsel within a variety of industries and sectors, including the automotive industry. He also handles searches for lawyers and non-lawyers in legal operations and compliance functions.

Ryan and his wife, a concert violinist turned CFP®, reside in the Lakeview neighbourhood of Chicago where they enjoy giving back to the arts and sciences, exploring the city's fine (and not-so-fine) dining scenes and persisting (in vain) to convince their labrador retriever to admit that he's not a real boy.

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Ryan's legal career before becoming an executive recruiter included tenure in large law firms and the in-house legal departments of a $20 billion foodservice company and a publicly traded real estate investment trust. During his time in private practice and on the corporate side, Ryan worked with executive recruiters (including Major, Lindsey & Africa) as a client as well as a candidate, and he brings this unique perspective—both hiring manager and hopeful applicant—to each client engagement.


Some of Ryan's in-house placements include:

  • AkzoNobel
  • The Boeing Company
  • Cardinal Health
  • Energizer
  • Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
  • General Motors Co.
  • Great Lakes Dredge & Dock
  • Johnson Controls
  • Kindred Healthcare
  • Meijer
  • NiSource
  • Teachers Credit Union
  • ThyssenKrupp


Cornell Law School: J.D.

Editorial Board, Cornell International Law Journal

Michigan State University, James Madison College: B.A., with honor

Phi Beta Kappa


Admitted to the Bar in Illinois (inactive status)

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association