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.
Is 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.