65 Comments

Comments

John Gault says ...
John, I am sorry to see it come to this point. Tragically, Allan Bloom wrote about the closing of the American mind 21 years ago, his thesis is still unfolding. I knew when the original op-ed was published, that you were shaking up the wasps nest that is probably 80% of the firm's clientele. The dogmatic outcry to someone with a different opinion is sad, is illiberal, and reflects what passes for liberal "thought" these days. In my book you were, and still are, a hero for taking a stand and asserting individual liberty, which used to be what liberalism was about. It's funny how people who call themselves "liberals" today look to big government for the answers to social ills. We will prevail, John, because we are right. Utopian fantasies always fail because they are unnatural man-made constructs. REALITY ALWAYS WINS.
12/25/2009 2:33:00 PM CST
John says ...
Thank friggin god. It is about time. Merry Christmas to all shareholders! Your job was to run the company and all you have been doing for the past 4+ years is running it into the ground by running your mouth. I don't give a damn what your opinions are. The only thing I care about is making money on my Whole Foods Market shares, which hasn't happened since the split. Anytime you write an editorial, speaks to a group of libertarians about your "brilliance," trash competitors like Wild Oats (the company Whole Foods later purchased) on a yahoo stock discussion board disguised as "Rhadoba," a jumble of your wife's name or frankly, anytime that you open your mouth the stock prices tank. I would have sold my shares if the hit wouldn't have been so hard. Although a full departure would have been a true Christmas miracle, I'll take what I can get. This gives me some hope.
12/25/2009 6:06:13 PM CST
DF says ...
I have been a customer of Whole Foods since it first opened in New Orleans and now in Baton Rouge, but since John Mackey has been forced out by activists, I will no longer be shopping there.
12/25/2009 11:49:50 PM CST
Tejas says ...
John, I get the Dec 24 SEC filing. That's like the Friday afternoon "document dump" that Washington is famous for, designed to make the news have as little impact as possible. I even imagine that the filing was done at the last minute on Christmas Eve, at, like, 4:59 PM. And your Christmas Eve blog entry downplays the whole change as no big deal and long in the making. So the filing date is curious, as is the AP story being datelined Philadelphia. Whole Foods isn't based there, and the SEC isn't based there. I wonder why this story broke out of the AP's Philly bureau instead of as a formal press release issued by Whole Foods corporate HQ in Austin, Texas, especially since you swear this news is no biggie?
12/26/2009 12:41:30 AM CST
anonymous says ...
I was sincerely disappointed to read about this in SF Gate today. I think you have built a very unique organization. Your desire to direct things with the very same vision that helped make Whole Foods great and operationally superior, is now being criticized by some as "political". What a shame and what a silly world we have to live in occasionally. Keep up the good fight.
12/26/2009 9:15:33 AM CST
Julia Morton says ...
If John goes, and with him freedom of thought and the right to free speach, I quit too. I will not shop in Wholefood again. Free speach and free thought is more important than any particular government.
12/26/2009 4:21:36 PM CST
Michael McEvoy says ...
John, thanks for standing up for open market systems. I am proud of you and your willingness to take a public position. I stopped by my semi-local Whole Foods (I go out of my way to shop at your company - please open one in the East San Francisco Bay!) I have the pleasure to know a number of your employees and I have NEVER heard a negative word from any about the company, working conditions, and benefits... Just love for the company. You are a model for CEO leadership.
12/26/2009 10:03:27 PM CST
Kevin H. Davis says ...
Sorry to hear that you are stepping down. I respected your right to espouse your opinion. Sorry to see you cave in to what appears to be profit-line pressure.
12/26/2009 11:17:36 PM CST
Rob says ...
Good lord, folks... Read what the man wrote -twice-. Elvis has not left the building and this is not a reason to boycott anything. If anything, please just put down the paint and picket signs and read shareholder proposals for the companies in which you own stock.
01/01/2010 2:07:46 PM CST
scott says ...
John is still on the Board and CEO of the company why would you boycott/stop shopping at WFM. He is just not chairman of the board which is like he said nothing more than a title.
01/01/2010 3:13:56 PM CST
Jolinda Rockett says ...
So you're not leaving! Excellent. I will watch for news of your welfare and courage. Whole Foods is fortunate to have your guidance. But more importantly, "we" are fortunate to have thinking and honorable people speak up and hold the course.
01/02/2010 8:15:43 AM CST
Jim says ...
Amazing that even over JM's repeated affirmation to the contrary, commenters like Allan still seem convinced that this is a craven decision of the Board rather than a sensible course of action taken by Mackey himself. Glad he saw fit in his second post to give proper credit to the work of the his successor, new Chair John Elstrott. One aspect not acknowledged here is that there are many good reasons for separating the roles of Board Chair and CEO. Doesn't freedom of speech extend also to the 'shareholder activists' who have been pointing this out? In the free market model don't shareholders have a right to comment on the effectiveness of their company's governance structure?
01/02/2010 8:22:55 AM CST
Dave in Virginia says ...
Mr. Mackey, I am sorry to see you move from your current position. I just learned of the controversy surrounding Whole Foods. This is ridiculous. I fully support you, your company and your view on health care. I will shop at Whole Foods more so than in the past to demonstrate my support. Respectfully, David
01/02/2010 8:47:01 PM CST
joan mcfadden says ...
No more trips to whole foods for me. So glad that B.J.'s carries cheddar bunnies.
01/02/2010 8:58:23 PM CST
Tray Rorie says ...
I am 100% in agreement with you on health care and I fully support your decision to give up your John Elstrott. Thank you for building such a fantastic organization. You and the Whole Foods story are very inspirational. I also have some serious thoughts about a potential venture that meshes very well with your experience and, indeed with Whole Foods. Please write me an e-mail so I can reply and share these thoughts with you.
01/03/2010 8:02:07 AM CST
Tray Rorie says ...
Oops... I made a typo. I meant to say "I fully support your decision to give up your Chairman title to John Elstrott."
01/03/2010 8:13:49 AM CST
Eva says ...
You will not see me at Whole Foods again. i agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Mackey's views about Obamacare but I guess Free Speech is no longer recognized in the USA.
01/03/2010 8:42:21 PM CST
Ellen says ...
don't hit your head on the way out. there are many other places to obtain the products available via WF.
01/04/2010 12:25:30 PM CST
LMR says ...
(clicked too soon; with corrections:) I fully support the First Amendment, and support the right of free speech and assembly even for groups whose missions I oppose (even Glenn Beck). However, I don’t intend to give such groups my money. With great power comes great responsibility; if John Mackey wants to use his powerful position as CEO to sway public policy against health care (and also to speak out against global warming), that is his right. However, we liberals also have the right to take our money to the numerous other organic food shops whose leadership uses their power to support causes in which we believe. Most of those commenting think free speech entails no economic consequences, and that is not historically accurate, nor are the “no consequences” guaranteed by the Constitution. I would fully support the free speech of an elementary school history teacher who wants to proclaim that the Bill of Rights is nonsense, but NOT in their position as teacher. As CEO of Whole Foods, Mackey is no longer just a private citizen; he has a role which wields great influence, and if he chooses to use that role to sway public opinion or public policy in a way that I deem socially irresponsible, then I choose not to help fund his salary through my purchases.
01/04/2010 7:52:12 PM CST
Becky Montgomery says ...
Odd that all of the comments here are expressing the same views. Usually there is a mixture of ideas, even if one side predominates. Strange, and I also find it strange that the head of a company expresses views so contradictory of science. It makes me wonder if the food sold at the store is REALLY organic, etc.
01/04/2010 8:25:47 PM CST
Jen says ...
Shareholder influence is EXACTLY what the free market is supposed to be about. No one's free speech has been infringed upon; the government did not intervene and try to penalize Mackey for his statements. Mackey's views on health care reform and climate change were in conflict with a majority of the Whole Foods consumer and were bad for business. This is why the shareholders cared what he said, and why they responded. His statements were bad for business, and their pressure was a business decision.
01/04/2010 8:38:49 PM CST
Sara says ...
Hey John, As TMs, should we expect any changes? I am loathe to trust any corporation, but working at WFM has given me trust, at least, in your corporation. Will it still be YOUR corporation? Will the vision be the same?
01/05/2010 10:08:42 AM CST
Lisa says ...
I think this is a good move. I have not shopped at Whole Foods since your Op-Ed and I am not alone. I absolutely support free speech for every individual, but I'm not going a hand you my money if I disagree with your views. When you choose to use your company's name to express your views in a public forum then I am not going to use my money in a way that supports your company. I really don't see what is "socialist" about that. I shop at my local co-op now. It's a little out of my way, but I feel that it supports my community and my local farmers. That's how I prefer to live and eat.
01/06/2010 8:44:25 AM CST
Stacey Turner says ...
I am saddened but still going to shop at Whole Foods. Stop shopping there & the terrorists win. The truth is that WF is a shining example of what good people can do & will do when they are free to do so. Thank you Mr. Mackey. Sorry about the previous typo. I am a mediocre typist.
01/06/2010 3:31:31 PM CST
kassandra says ...
Why are all these conservatives threatening not to shop there anymore? He is not going anywhere? Did they even read what he said? It would better if people did buy from their local fresh market and local growers (less gas used ) and you really know where your food is coming from and what is in it. OR GROW YOUR OWN SMALL GARDEN AND RAISE CHICKENS Why should we trust anyone who obviously knows nothing about scientific research? Why would I want to eat what he is making or selling? Did you know that we have just as many pigs raised in this country right now as they did in 1900?
01/06/2010 5:48:23 PM CST

Pages