John Mackey

John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, has led the natural and organic grocer as it has grown from a single store in Austin, Texas, founded in 1978, to an $11 billion Fortune 300 company, and a top U.S. supermarket with more than 340 stores and 70,000 Team Members worldwide.

While devoting his career to helping shoppers satisfy their lifestyle needs with high quality natural and organic foods, Mackey has also focused on building a more conscious way of doing business. For 15 consecutive years, FORTUNE magazine has included Whole Foods Market on its “100 Best Companies to Work For” list.

Mackey has been the visionary for many successful programs at the core of Whole Foods Market. He founded Whole Planet Foundation to help end poverty in developing nations; he launched the Local Producer Loan Program to help local farmers and food producers expand their businesses; he created the Global Animal Partnership to set standards for humane farm animal treatment; and he laid the foundation for the company’s Health Starts Here initiative, which encourages health and wellness among customers and Team Members.

He has been recognized for his work over the years by being named Ernst & Young’s “United States Entrepreneur of the Year,” Institutional Investor’s “Best CEO in America,” Barron’s “World’s Best CEO,” MarketWatch’s “CEO of the Year,” FORTUNE’s “Businessperson of the Year,” and Esquire’s “Most Inspiring CEO,” among many others. 

A strong believer in free market principles, Mackey co-founded the Conscious Capitalism Movement to challenge business leaders to rethink why their organizations exist, and to acknowledge their roles in the interdependent global marketplace. He recently co-authored “Conscious Capitalism, Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business” to boldly defend and re-imagine capitalism while encouraging others to implement a way of doing business that is grounded in ethical consciousness.

Mackey cut his pay to $1 in 2006 and continues to work for Whole Foods Market out of a passion to see the business realize its potential for deeper purpose, for the joy of leading a great company, and to answer the call to service he feels in his heart.

Blog Posts By Author

January 17, 2013 @ Whole Story
In an interview with NPR on Wednesday, Whole Foods Market co-CEO John Mackey discussed his new book, Conscious Capitalism, along with other topics such as health care.
August 13, 2012 @ John Mackey's Blog
At FreedomFest 2012, I sat down with Reason's Matt Welch to discuss how businesses create value, the politicization of "organic," and the need to shift the narrative of capitalism. Thanks to Reason for allowing me to share the interview here on my blog.
November 16, 2011 @ John Mackey's Blog
The Wall Street Journal invited me to submit an opinion piece about job creation.  This is a topic I know a lot about so I agreed to submit some of my thoughts (a copy of the opinion piece is found below).  
June 24, 2011 @ John Mackey's Blog
This interview was conducted by Tom G. Palmer, the Executive Vice President of International Affairs at the Atlas Network. Tom previously served as Vice President for International Programs at the Cato Institute and Director of the Center for Promotion of Human Rights. A slightly shorter, abridged version of this interview will appear in the upcoming book, The Morality of Capitalism.  
November 15, 2010 @ John Mackey's Blog
I recently discussed some of my ideas on Conscious Capitalism for a special video series produced by Big Think on The Future of Capitalism. I’m very excited about the evolution of Capitalism and how it will support continual innovation and human creativity. Capitalism is, I believe, the only global force capable of eliminating poverty. The entire discussion (about 29 minutes) is on the Big Think website. (They've also loaded shorter clips of specific topics.) Big Think is an innovative global forum dedicated to connecting people and ideas.
July 26, 2010 @ John Mackey's Blog
In April, Darden School of Business Professor R. Edward Freeman hosted a conversation with me on topics such as Conscious Capitalism, Consequences of Authenticity, and Public Trust in Business. The 41-minute video is now available.
May 12, 2010 @ John Mackey's Blog
  What is happening? Walter Robb and I will now share the title of Co-Chief Executive Officer (Co-CEO), while A.C. Gallo will now have the title of President and Chief Operating Officer (the title he previously shared with Walter).  Walter will also join me as a voting member of our Board of Directors.  
March 9, 2010 @ John Mackey's Blog
American society appears to be undergoing a crisis in trust. Most of the major organizations that we depend upon, including governments of all types, corporations, our health care system, our financial institutions, and our schools all seem to be failing us. Indeed, I do not believe it is an exaggeration to claim that our society is actually undergoing a disintegration process whereby the fundamental premises and values supporting our institutions are all being called into question.
December 24, 2009 @ John Mackey's Blog
After much thought and consideration, I have decided to voluntarily give up my title as Chairman of the Board.  While I don’t expect this to impact the day to day operations of the company in any way, I wanted to share the reasons for my decision with you.  
October 16, 2009 @ John Mackey's Blog
John Mackey was interviewed recently by editors at Reason.tv and Reason Magazine. Here are links to the videos they produced. A Q&A print version of this interview will be published in Reason Magazine in January. John Mackey's Conscious Capitalism An hour-long conversation with the Whole Foods Market CEO about health care reform, veganism and his unstinting defense of free markets.
August 14, 2009 @ John Mackey's Blog
As you are probably aware, I wrote an Op/Ed piece that was published in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week on health care reform, one of the biggest and most emotional issues facing our country. I was asked to write an Op/Ed piece and I gave my personal opinions. While I am in favor of health care reform, Whole Foods Market as a company has no official position on the issue.  
June 5, 2008 @ John Mackey's Blog
Just a quick heads up that John Mackey will be speaking on Conscious Capitalism in Austin, Texas on June 12, 2008. It’s actually rare to have the opportunity to hear John speak in his hometown. The event serves as a fundraiser for FLOW, a non-profit organization that John co-founded in 2004. John’s talk will be followed by an extensive dialogue with Tami Simon, CEO of Sounds True; questions from the audience are invited.
May 21, 2008 @ John Mackey's Blog
On Saturday, May 17, 2008, John Mackey delivered the following remarks to the graduating class at Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts.  
May 21, 2008 @ John Mackey's Blog
I can’t tell you how good it feels to be able to write in my blog again. Even though I wanted to respond openly and truthfully when confronted by the various accusations of wrongdoing last year, our attorneys and Board of Directors both thought it best for me to hold off while they conducted their Special Investigation and the SEC handled its inquiry. Those matters now are completed with the board affirming their complete support for me and the SEC recommending that no enforcement action be made against Whole Foods Market or me.
July 17, 2007 @ John Mackey's Blog
Dear Stakeholders, A Special Committee of our Board of Directors' is conducting an independent internal investigation into online financial message board postings related to Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats Markets. In light of this, it is in the best interest of the company to temporarily hold off on posting on my Company blog. The ability to post comments to this blog will be disabled during this time as well. I look forward to resuming our conversations and plan on being in touch with you again soon. Best regards, John
June 27, 2007 @ John Mackey's Blog
First I want to express my appreciation to everyone who sent positive and supportive comments on my blog posting. I really appreciate your kind thoughts and your good will. I won't respond to your comments below because there is nothing more that I can really add to what I just said. However, I want you to know that I really appreciate your support even if I don't respond directly to your comment. Thank you very much.
June 14, 2007 @ John Mackey's Blog
Many of you have probably heard about the FTC challenging our proposed merger with Wild Oats. Here's a link to some detailed information that we presented to the FTC summarizing our case. Watch for a more extensive blog post from me next week. View FTC Updates Section
March 13, 2007 @ John Mackey's Blog
As part of a recent public dialogue with Michael Pollan, I presented a slide show on the Past, Present and Future of Food. This slide show, as well as a link to a recorded version of the presentation and subsequent discussion with Pollan, are included in this blog post.  

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