Whole Foods CEO John Mackey says he stands his ground against Amazon

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey says he stands his ground against Amazon

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on Tuesday held a company town hall in which he assured employees he continues to stand his ground against the grocer’s new corporate parent, according to Business Insider, which said it obtained a recording of that meeting.

“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, according to Business Insider.

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

Whole Foods was sold to Amazon last year under pressure from stalling sales, a falling stock price and an aggressive activist investor. Since the deal, though, many have wondered whether there would be a culture clash between notably free-spirited Mackey and Amazon’s buttoned-up corporate culture.

Mackey said he is happy so far.

“Does that mean I love absolutely everything about Amazon? No. I don’t,” he said. “I don’t love absolutely everything about my wife, either, but on balance, I love like 98 percent. That’s a pretty good ratio based on my previous relationships.”

The grocer has rolled out a number of changes since its sale to Amazon, some of which are a continuation of efforts that preceded the sale. It has worked to automate its inventory system, streamline its relations with smaller, niche brands and centralize its in-store merchandising.

It has also rolled out a number of new in-store benefits for Amazon Prime members.

Whole Foods did not immediately have a comment.

To read the full Business Insider story.

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