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John Mackey to Retire

10/04/2021

After five years as CEO of Whole Foods Market after the acquisition by Amazon in 2017, John Mackey now 68, founder of the Company is retiring on September 1st 2021. In his memorandum to company employees Mackey stated that he intends “pursuing some of my other life passions”.

 

In 1978 Mackey founded SafeWay in Austin a natural grocery store that eventually morphed into Whole Foods Market by a series of acquisitions. The company expanded nationally and was a significant presence in grocery retail prior to the $13.7 billion acquisition by Amazon. At this time Whole Foods Market was under pressure by institutional and private investors to improve shareholder value.

 

In 2017 industry observers predicted that Amazon would leverage the Whole Foods acquisition into a domination of food retailing.  This clearly has not happened despite innovation and the introduction of technology including the proliferation of alternative Amazon concept stores.

 

Jason Buechel, currently COO and an 8-year veteran of the Company and protegee of the founder will succeed John Mackey.