Skip to navigationSkip to content

Whole Foods CEO describes ‘clashes with Amazon’ in leaked audio recording

By Fox Business

John Mackey is heard saying he is “not afraid to get fired” by the retail giant eitherRead full story

Comments

  • Also share to
  • At what point does Amazon decide Whole Foods is more valuable to them as real estate for warehousing food they need to deliver and gets out of the supermarket business?

  • Maggie Chan Jones
    Maggie Chan JonesproFounder & CEO at Tenshey, Inc.

    Culture clashes are one of the side effects for many M&As, especially for big ones like Amazon + Whole Foods. Integration teams and executives spend months if not years to find the right balance to create a new symphony for the combined entity. While Whole Foods employees probably appreciate the CEO fighting the good fights. There’s also a danger of the prolonged “us vs. them” mentality.

  • Jing Cao
    Jing CaoQuartz

    Wow clickbait much? From the headline, I was ready for a story about the woes Whole Foods has had under Amazon, how Amazon has destroyed or is trying to destroy the culture of Whole Foods, all the changes the new overlord is making to Whole Foods that John Mackey disagrees with, leading to a conclusion about how the deal has been a disaster.

    Instead, the story is just based on a recording where John Mackey basically talks about “clashes” and not being “afraid to get fired” in the context of how

    Wow clickbait much? From the headline, I was ready for a story about the woes Whole Foods has had under Amazon, how Amazon has destroyed or is trying to destroy the culture of Whole Foods, all the changes the new overlord is making to Whole Foods that John Mackey disagrees with, leading to a conclusion about how the deal has been a disaster.

    Instead, the story is just based on a recording where John Mackey basically talks about “clashes” and not being “afraid to get fired” in the context of how well Whole Foods is doing under Amazon and how he’s making sure WF has a voice and it isn’t just Amazon making unilateral decisions.

    Headline made it seem like a huge deal.

    Content of the story made it clear it wasn’t. 🤦‍♀️

  • Ok this was such a non story. Yah he isn’t afraid of being fired & he can speak the truth. And yah being bought isn’t always smooth sailing. What exactly was the insight? Oh yah, there is no such thing as internal comms — say it out loud and be prepared for it to be record & broadcast.

  • Kandice Levero
    Kandice LeveroSenior Art Director at Valtech_

    What kind of CEO tells his employees in a “company wide” meeting that he’s “financially secure” so he can be cocky and state “I’m not afraid to be fired” How nice that he’s able to state his honest opinion without fear of financial repercussions. Not so for the majority of those under him who he’s supposed to be inspiring and leading to success.

  • David Yakobovitch
    David YakobovitchAI Professor at Galvanize

    I think Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods was an excellent business decision. However, the gradual deterioration of the Whole Foods culture has been apparent and continues to erode daily.

  • “I have done this for 40 years, I am financially secure, I love Whole Foods,” he says. "I ultimately am not afraid to get fired so — not that I think they are going to fire me — but I'm not afraid of it, so that gives me a position of strength to speak truth to power when it's necessary to do so, and I've done it many, many times."

    In other words... Employment Agreement and Double-trigger.

  • Maranatha Kure
    Maranatha KureFounder at Olive Arts

    Great that he is standing up for the company. Also great that Bezos knows when to back off. Amazon bought Whole Foods due it's success. It would be bad if they made them contradict the principles that got them there in the first place.

  • De’Andre Crenshaw
    De’Andre CrenshawRetail Managment at CVS Pharmacy

    It’s nice to see managment that cares about its customers and employees not just his bottom line. This is something he makes evident by showing he is fighting for his employees as Amazon is likely looking to cut operation cost starting with employees to offset the price cuts they have done and continue to do. After all it’s a branding issue the price and atmosphere of a Whole Foods attracts certain types of shoppers they aren’t targeting the Walmart crowd, but they easily could there are other ways

    It’s nice to see managment that cares about its customers and employees not just his bottom line. This is something he makes evident by showing he is fighting for his employees as Amazon is likely looking to cut operation cost starting with employees to offset the price cuts they have done and continue to do. After all it’s a branding issue the price and atmosphere of a Whole Foods attracts certain types of shoppers they aren’t targeting the Walmart crowd, but they easily could there are other ways to cut cost and provide price cuts to consumers. Some of the ideas I’ve heard from discounting food stamp recipient and or amazon prime members reaches poor and rich consumers and doesn’t take away from profit margins and ultimately doesn’t make managment look at cutting workers benefits, wages or hours.

  • I am weary of this article and it's intention as it comes from Fox News!

  • Leaking is the new black.

Want more conversations like this?

Join the Quartz community for all the intelligence, without the noise.

App Store BadgeGoogle Play Badge
Leaderboard Screenshot

A community of leaders, subject matter experts, and curious minds bringing nuance back to how we talk about the news.

Editors' Picks Screenshot

No content overload: our editors will curate the most notable and discussion-worthy pieces for you every day.

Share Screenshot

Don’t just read the story, tell it: contribute your ideas and experience to the dialogue.