80 Comments

Comments

Chris says ...
I took a trip from Ashland, KY to your Columbus, OH store yesterday because I bought some WFMI stock when it got slammed the other day. I wanted to see what I had purchased. I spent three hours in the store browsing and eating. I was told that your Columbus store is the second largest, is that correct? What an awesome experience! I would never have imagined so much in a grocery store until I saw it. Can I please have my own store in the Huntington,WV/Ashland,KY/Ironton,OH tri-state area? I've never been more impressed by a grocery store in my whole forty years of life. I could see WFMI expanding/growing like starbucks did. Why do you still only have less than 200 stores open? Is it because of the on-site liquor licensing? I loved drinking my belgium beer with my fresh-baked pizza in the cafe. I could see you doing for food what Border's did for books. At Border's you grab a book and plop down and browse and read it. I loved the ability to see something and just pay/sit down and eat it right in the store. That's awesome, and it was cozy/comfy/healthy. As far as the previous posts are concerned, 19x pay is fine by me. The WMT people fly in a jet/I know because I saw it on a CNBC TV special; so if you need one of those, that's cool too. Your grocery store beats them all hands down in my opinion and I will shop there many,many times per month if you will just please open one in my neck of the woods. WFMI rocks!!!
11/16/2006 3:44:18 PM CST
Bry Willis says ...
It seems to me this could have been solved by keeping the 14x multiple and increasing the average wage to ensure the Top executives could still be paid competitively. The solution you implemented is decidedly elitist and exclusionary.
11/23/2006 8:35:27 AM CST
Jafar says ...
I am inclined to agree with Bry Willis (above) but point out that there are probably around 5,000 "average level" employees per exec. Raising all those rates in turn is a much bigger move in total than the 35% increase to executives. However, what are the execs doing now better than before that merits a 35% increase? Perhaps there are others that will happily work for the original 14x?
11/25/2006 12:35:18 PM CST
Dolores Emerich says ...
I have worked 2 1/2 years at the Whole Foods store in Fort Collins, CO. At first I did not get it, and the more I learned about the whole concept,the prouder I became about working here. What you did with your salary was incredible. Yea, you are probably worth a lot, but excutives from other big companies are worth more and just keep taking. I applaude you! Hopefully others will follow in your footsteps. I only hope I can continue to grow with your company. I am no spring chicken and I only hope that will not hold me back from advancing. I want to work here until I retire. Thanks for employing me, Dolores Emerich
11/25/2006 8:22:46 PM CST
Jeff says ...
John Mackey , I read all of this blog and wonder how you handle all of these message's from people , some negative and some positive ! I also wonder like "TM" (blog above) if you have a company car or jet ? If you don't, please buy one , car or jet and drive/fly to were ever "elizabeth" (her blog above) works and tell her that a day off for the whole company all at once is really not possible and give her part of your wage cut( which is EXTREMELY generous) to take a bussiness cource at a local collage ! Then maybe she will get it! Then zip over to a whole food market and pick up some tissue for "sheryl" (her blog above)and try to explain to her, that she's making way more then minimum wage and explain cost of living to her! Maybe get her a box of common sence ! These people are negative and big cry babies! I give you props for being the hard worker that started a bussiness and put his hard work ,time , money ,heart and soul and made a positive , healthy and succesful company that whole food's is today ! Yes , stock maybe down and some people maybe upset by that, cause they like some of the people above have put alot of there money into the stock but stocks are like a yo-yo they go up and down and side to side. If you lose all your retirement on stocks and bonds, then shame on you for not making other investments with some of your money, people! I personaly will buy your stock tomorrow and be happy that I have a investment in a company with character and conchence ! I don't care if I make or lose money on your stock and I only make $8.00 and hour at my job !!!! Thanks John and keep up the good work !!!
12/07/2006 12:48:30 AM CST
Adam says ...
John, As always, you are an inspiration. America would be a better place if all CEOs thought the way you do. Adam
12/11/2006 12:17:48 PM CST
Jim says ...
Are we ever going to get any positive news about Whole Foods, as of today stock at $47 and falling and it has been months on any kind of positive press
12/26/2006 1:27:43 PM CST
Dave Arnold says ...
Hey Mr Mackey, I'm a New Member at the newly expanded Boca Raton, FL store. I love it. I feel appreciated for the first time after 15 years of working in a restaurant even though it's a big cut in income, but that was my choice. I just wanted to comment on the compensation issue and say I think you are definitely correct regarding executive pay especially after the announcement of Mr. Nardellis' severance compensation at Home Depot, an astounding $210 million dollars for getting fired!! $21 million of that upfront in cash!! It's disgusting and absolutley unacceptable. However I'd like you to consider the same thing for me if I ever get separated. On a related subject that is completely unrelated but I have to say it's related or it won't get published and it's regarding getting the word out to the public. My room-mate thinks organic food is poisonous! I was making a lasagna and he told me not to make it with any of that organic crap. There is a huge population out there who have this mentality and they need to be convinced that what they consider normal food is abnormal food, I know you don't like to advertise and I'm certainly not advocating it but someway, somehow you must figure out how to do it. Sir Richard Branson recently announced that he is now in a position to make a difference concerning climate change, I feel that you are now in a position to create lifestyle change on a huge scale, can you do it?
01/04/2007 7:43:58 PM CST
Atul says ...
John I had sent in a question last evening and on subsequent reflection thought that I needed to be clearer in my question to allow you to respond more precisely. I totally support the ideas in conscious Capitalism. As a head of a company operating on conscious capitalism principles, you and the employees create a lot of value and financial wealth for the company and its investors. What is your perspective on the CEO of a company participating in some this wealth created through equity or restricted stock grants, above and beyond cash compensation and bonuses. For instance, if Mr. Yunnus had taken a small equity position in all the different for-profit Grameen companies and become personally wealthy, would that have in any way decreased his personal effectiveness and the success of his companies to have the kind of impact they have had. I understand your personal situation is different since you were the founder and had the founders equity in Whole Foods and have benefitted from the market appreciation of whole foods equity value. My question is aimed at the appropriateness of wealth creation for senior managers and CEO's of "conscious Capitalist" companies and not just founders and investors. As on many things, I am sure you have thought deeply about this and would really appreciate your insights!! Atul
01/14/2007 6:31:43 PM CST
George Palmer says ...
Dear Mr. Mackey: I read your interview in the 04DEC WSJ and loved it. I bet that I don't agree with you on politics or on natural foods (although I like stuff to taste good). But I really DO like your candor in answering questions. Quite refreshing. Especially the comment about how you would rather have a valuable conversation than participate in corporate karioke. I think we need more of that in corporate America. It will help us work more efficiently and generate more wealth.
01/14/2007 10:20:08 PM CST
Kathy Hale says ...
John, I just read the back page article in the February issue of Fast Company. Kudos to you on your decision, but more importantly, on your values. Your actions give me hope! Loyal WFM customer, Kathy
01/18/2007 8:42:45 PM CST
Bridgette says ...
Mr. Mackey: I read the letter you distributed to your Whole Foods Market employees. In an era of Enron and greedy CEOs, you are an inspiration. Thank you. P.S. You have gained a customer for life.
01/18/2007 8:52:39 PM CST
Samuel says ...
Hello John, I just read your letter addressed to your team members. It is inspiring and encouraging. After reading your letter... "Doing the Right Thing" seems to be what you've done in the past, and you are now focusing on "Doing the Things Right". Sincerely, Sam
01/19/2007 9:52:01 AM CST
Chris says ...
Hello John, I understand the basic reasoning of having to raise the top pay rate from 14x to 19x the average pay, but it would have been nice to read that the top executive at Whole Foods have an outlook such as you do when it comes to the new paradigm in business, with their personal compensation. The best way to maximize income is to think long term, and not make it the primary goal of working, especially at a company like yours that has given people the tools to get so much more from there job than just money. Your happiness analogy should be taken to heart by the top executives as they have the most power and potential to make others happy with their decisions. I guess it is hard to establish that entrepreneurial spirit in people, even those with the greatest potential for an impact! Either way, keep up the great work! Best Regards, Chris Stiner
01/19/2007 2:05:39 PM CST
Karl Swensen says ...
I just read your letter to the team members, printed in the latest issue of FastCompany magazine. My most sincere congratulations to you, John! Thank you for sharing your compensation philosophy and being pro-active about it. Actions speak louder than words! I’m a 63 year old former Human Resources executive. I’ve dealt with many arrogant and egotistical upper-level executives over the years. Almost all of them have wanted more pay and associated stock options. Many of them have not cared about the employees who have made them successful. The current national executive pay practices are obscene and atrocious. I had better stop before I get upset again about the dreadful executive compensation which takes place in so many companies. John, you are a breath of fresh air. Keep up the good work I will be a loyal customer, forever! Karl Swensen
01/19/2007 11:52:07 PM CST
richard macmillan says ...
Dear John Mackey, I just saw Fast Company's Final Word.....Thank you. I hope, for the sake of future generations of American workers, that more American CEO's will follow suit. I have torn out the page, framed it and put in on my desk. Cheers to you, and to all those you inspire. Richard MacMillan Massachusetts College of Art
01/22/2007 2:24:06 PM CST
Anna Krusel says ...
Thank you for sharing this with us. I would like to use your comments for a paper I am writing in my MBA class. I will properly give credit where it is do.
01/26/2007 7:28:04 PM CST
Victoria says ...
Dear Mr. Mackey, Along with the few other who have posted recently, I too just read an article about your decisions and am truly in awe by you. I was amazed that someone in the corporate world, which seems to be run by greed, actually did what you have done. It really touched my heart. I have only shopped at WFM a few times, but after reading the article you have just earned another loyal customer. Keep up the good work. I just wish more people though the way you do. I look forward to hearing more great things about you in the future. Good luck and God bless. Victoria
01/28/2007 1:38:06 AM CST
Jerry Bradford says ...
Mr. Mackey, The old T. Jefferson quote that 'he who inspires others to do, dream, and think to a greater degree is a true leader', epitomizes your person Sir. You put the majority of corporate America to shame and heap fiery coals of character upon their heads. John, by setting the bar much higher than their single minded greed will/would ever allow them to aspire sets you apart as a man of innovation and decency. Thank you for this contribution and may success continue to be your companion in whatever you lay claim to doing. j. bradford
01/29/2007 2:11:33 PM CST
Wendi says ...
Like a few others, I, too, read your letter in the back of Fast Company and immediately tore it out to keep on my desk. Quite an inspiration. Thank you.
01/31/2007 12:30:04 PM CST
bill stewart says ...
A salary cap which keeps going up is not a cap, it is a short-term policy.
02/09/2007 6:21:27 AM CST
Paul says ...
I have a few friends that work at Whole Foods Markets. They seem to be content in their employment. The two things I hear them mention that appear to be issues of concern within the stores they work in is some of the equipment doesn't work properly, and they're having to pay for their medical care upfront, then waiting to get reimbursed. Can the equipment for these working class people be maintained better, and could you change the way your medical benefit program is structured?
02/11/2007 4:09:12 PM CST
Pat Dixon says ...
I just read your blog about the compensation at Whole Foods. I was very impressed with what you wrote. I shop at Whole Foods whenever I can (Fairfax and Santa Monica and Fairfax and Third); I really respect your products. If I wasn't so damn old, I'd apply for a job at Whole Foods. As it is, I was retired for a few years and just took a part time job as an office manager at an Architectural firm in Hollywood, CA. We have seen the flags saying Whole Foods 90028 but we can't figure out where you plan to open your next store in this area. Thanks for being a "mensch". The world needs more people like you. Best.
02/14/2007 2:36:33 PM CST
Peter says ...
"Salary cap." Sounds very NFL of you John. So tell us why WFM is (apparently) one of the most virulently anti-union companies out there? Not very compassionate, and very Wal-mart of you!
02/22/2007 3:27:25 PM CST
Sally says ...
A salary cap which keeps going up is not a cap, it is a short-term policy. Bravo! I was wondering when someone would get that. As much as I love WFM and shop there, I don't for one minute buy into the "we're so much better than other companies" mantra. It's a company run by self-indulgent yuppies that sells products to other self-indulgent yuppies at prices that in no way reflect the true meaning of "sustainable" or "fair trade". WFM has cornered the market on 'eco-speak' and not much more. They've got the buzzwords and nothing to back it up. But what I really want to know is WHEN ARE YOU GUYS GOING TO OFFER DELIVERY????
03/02/2007 7:14:58 PM CST

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