Faculty Profile: Charles Whitener

Charles WhitenerWestern Electric
Previous Courses Taught (1)
  • International Law 2020: It is Not Business as Usual for Businesses

Charles Whitener, CEO of Western Electric. Mr. Whitener is a serial entrepreneur. For the first five years after attending Georgia Institute of Technology and graduating from Rhodes College in 1976 with a degree in Journalism, he was employed with several firms including Horizon Industries, Air Treads, Inc, and Tesco Inc.

In 1982, Mr. Whitener cofounded, with partner James GT Paterson, Microdynamics Corporation. Microdynamics began its research and development plan at Georgia Institute of Technogy’s incubator. Microdynamics was the first startup company accepted into the Advanced Technology and Development Center, originally located on 14th Street in Atlanta. Microdynamics developed and manufactured automated fiber co-mingling equipment and machine vision enabled automatic inspection equipment for customers including Milliken, BASF, Allied Signal, Hoechst, DuPont, etc. He holds five patents in the field. In 1985 he also began investing in commercial real estate. Mr. Whitener sold Microdynamics in 1990 to SpinLab, Inc.

In 1983, Mr. Whitener co-founded Peachtree Laser, Inc and in 2000 he co-founded Tube Depot, LLC.

In 1992, Mr. Whitener, in cooperation with AT&T, resumed manufacturing of electron tubes within the Western Electric Kansas City Works in Lee Summit, Mo.

In 2007, Mr. Whitener sold his commercial real estate holdings in Atlanta and moved to Lookout Mountain, GA. Mr. Whitener is still very active in commercial real estate with ownership of the former ABB/Combustion Engineering building in Chattanooga, TN, the former Wachovia Bank building (now the current headquarters for Western Electric) in Rossville, GA and the former BASF research facility (now the headquarters for The Dixie Group) in Dalton, GA.

In 1998 Mr. Whitener married Jennifer Cardell of Atlanta GA. Jennifer is owner and CEO of Bridge Innovate, Inc USA and is a partner with Bridge Consulting UK. Jennifer was previously director of executive leadership training for Ernst and Young LLP. The Whitener family actively participates in providing leadership in the development of the surrounding communities.