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Whole Foods CEO Internet Scam

This article was written by in Consumer. 4 comments.


The Chief Executive Officer of Whole Foods, John Mackey, has been posting on internet message boards, promoting his company’s stock (example) and pointing out the faults of others in the same category (example).

I find it unlikely that a few messages affected the stock’s price to a significant degree, but that’s not the point.

John Mackey, Whole FoodsIs posting on message boards part of the job for the CEO of a large corporation? Personally, I don’t think so. There should be more important matters for him to attend to. At the very least, he should have disclosed his relationship with the company in his posts. Doing so would inform unsuspecting readers of his access to insider information and his particular biased point of view.

Not only does Mackey spend time on the message boards, he also keeps a blog and finds more time to argue with his commenters.

If the CEO of the company for which I work was spending his time posting anonymously on message boards, I’d be questioning the millions of dollars he’s getting paid in salary and stock to do so.

Updated January 16, 2010 and originally published July 12, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar ib

i have been reading the wsj articles on the situation before & after this latest revelation. i agree and believe he exhibited extremely poor judgement as with some other things lately….

btw, he slashed his salary to one dollar beginning last january.

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avatar Tim

he should be hung out to dry. it was at best a conflict of interest in writing comments like he did. at worst one could see it as an attempt to manipulate stock prices of a company they were trying to obtain. besides, if you have something to say, then do so in your own name. many CEOs do.

ib, yeah he did, and he said he wouldn’t take any other cash compensation either. the operative phrase being “cash compensation”. this still means stocks and stock options, which would be worth far more than the salary he was making. additionally, in Feb 2007 the board agreed to increase the salary cap to increase compensation ability.

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