business news in context, analysis with attitude

MNB had a piece yesterday about Costco CEO Jim Sinegal, which prompted MNB user Lari Perkiss to write:

Just when you think the world is going to "heck" in a shopping cart, you read about CEO's like Jim Sinegal and it brings tears to my eyes. As a Costco associate years ago I handed Jim a proposal never really expecting anyone to follow-up. I was wrong; he handed off my proposal to our regional supervisor for additional research. Still gives me shivers that this man walks-the-talk. I hope there are others out there that will follow, and lead, in his foot steps.

Somehow, I suspect that Sinegal doesn’t spend a lot of time blogging…much less under an alias.

We also continue to get email about the blogging antics of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey.

MNB user David Schools wrote:

You are absolutely right. I would be surprised if the Board did not take action. The integrity of the CEO is important in the culture of every organization. At best this was gray area and when employees look to the leader of an organization for an example of how to conduct themselves in business, that example should not illustrate that it is ok to be in the gray area.

Seems to me that the Whole Foods culture was sort of predicated on not venturing into gray areas. Mackey, perhaps not deliberately and certainly not malevolently, has tarnished the culture a bit.

MNB user Mike Griswold wrote:

We would never see this publicly, but there might be some back door discussions about Whole Foods cutting Mackey loose as a condition of getting the deal to close.

Talk about irony.

Another MNB user wrote:

No one says that Whole Foods has to buy Wild Oats and that it will be a terrible thing if they don't. Executives blog all the time and no one has ever cared before. What big storm? The one the press has created? Maybe Whole Foods would be better off if some other company bought Wild Oats. One that will most likely make it worse. That might benefit Whole Foods in the long run. Mackey a loose cannon? Yeah right, like he cares what derogatory names you call him. The big loser will probably be Wild Oats.

First of all, I think it was Mackey who said that Whole Foods had to buy Wild Oats, and that the industry would suffer if the deal doesn’t happen.

Second, I have no problem with a CEO blogging. I do have a problem with blogging under an alias, especially when you have fiduciary responsibilities.

Third, the last refuge of a scoundrel is to blame the press.

KC's View: