‘I ultimately am not afraid to get fired’: Whole Foods CEO John Mackey describes clashes with Amazon in leaked audio from an internal meeting (AMZN)


John Mackey Whole Foods

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey says the grocery chain’s same-store sales are growing again under Amazon, but that the two companies have had “many, many” clashes where he has had to “speak truth to power” and Amazon has “backed off.”
Mackey made the remarks Tuesday during an internal company-wide meeting, according to audio of the meeting obtained by Business Insider.
“I ultimately am not afraid to get fired … 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,” Mackey said.
Mackey also slammed media reports, saying “they just make things up.”

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey said Tuesday that the company’s same-store sales are growing again under Amazon, which purchased the grocery chain 10 months ago in a $13.7 billion deal.

“It’s been an incredible year,” Mackey said Tuesday during a town-hall style company-wide meeting, according to audio of the meeting obtained by Business Insider. “Our increase in sales has been far greater than I anticipated and it’s continuing.”

But the relationship with Amazon has also come with many challenges, he said.

“I’m sure that Amazon has probably gotten more disagreement from me than any other single person, and possibly more than everyone else combined,” Mackey said. “I have the least amount to lose: I have done this for 40 years, I am financially secure, I love Whole Foods.”

“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,” he said. “And that’s been a good thing because Amazon has listened and they have been very respectful and they have backed off.”

Mackey didn’t go into detail about the nature of the companies’ disagreements.

In response to an employee question about what could change about Whole Foods’ culture going forward, Mackey said the company’s principles and values would remain the same, but “pretty much everything else we can change.”

“This is the thing people are most afraid of, it’s like, they love Whole Foods so they don’t want it to change,” he said.

But in a merger, like in a good marriage, both parties will change over time, he said.

“I would say that those …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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