CtW Investment Group Calls to Replace Whole Foods CEO John Mackey
The CtW Investment Group, part of the Change to Win federation union advocacy group, calls for the replacement of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey for his column in Wall Street Journal on health care reform. John Mackey presented policy suggestions regarding the health care reform, including how Whole Foods Market does it. His views were met with hostility from consumers.
A Facebook group, Boycott Whole Foods, was formed and now have more than 28,000 members. On the Facebook page description:
John Mackey, CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on August 12, 2009 quoting Margaret Thatcher and suggesting that healthcare is a commodity that only the rich, like him, deserve.
Whole Foods has built its brand with the dollars of deceived progressives. Let them know your money will no longer go to support Whole Foods' anti-union, anti-health insurance reform, right-wing activities.
On August 11, John Mackey wrote a column for WSJ saying that "the last thing our country needs is a massive new health-care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health-care system."
CtW Investment Group sent a letter to Dr. John B. Elstrott, the Lead Independent Director, and the Board of Directors of Whole Foods Market.
"Mr. Mackey attempted to capitalize on the brand reputation of Whole Foods to champion his personal political views, but has instead deeply offended a key segment of Whole Foods consumer base," said CtW Investment Group Executive Director Bill Patterson. "This is not the first time Mr. Mackey's unsanctioned communications have damaged Whole Foods' image with consumers and investors. At a time when shareholders are looking for Whole Foods' management to focus on improving operations in an uncertain economy, we can not afford the risk to our Company's brand reputation caused by Mr. Mackey's indiscretion. He has become a liability and the board should begin the process of identifying a suitable replacement."
On the opposite end, a Facebook group, Do NOT BOYCOTT Whole Foods, was formed. However, it only has 3300 members now.
But Mackey has his supporters, some of whom are pushing for more Whole Foods shopping. And Tribune columnist Mary Schmich says Mackey was simply expressing the opinion that health care, in his view, isn’t a right. It is a matter of market forces and personal responsibility.