In recent years, a Whole Foods branch has become a must-have amenity for any rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. But have you ever wondered why the yuppie ingredients needed to make a dinner from WF cost more than what you earn in a day? Why, that’s because the chain has spent the better part of a decade buying up would-be competitors in order to keep an exclusive corner on the upper crust granola market.
This strategy was working pretty damn well for WF until the Federal Trade Commission hit them with an anti-trust lawsuit over their acquisition of rival company Wild Oats. The best details emerge in this Wall Street Journal scoop on CEO John Mackey, who turns out to be our favorite blogging executive since Mark Cuban.
Mackey spent eight years trolling the message boards at Yahoo Finance, anonymously posting under the screenname “Radoheb.” Whenever someone wrote negatively about WF, Mackey replied with gems like “Your quarterly cash flow variance isn’t statistically meaningful because the time period is too short.” I will cut you bitch. (Editorial emphasis added.)
More great Mackey e-quotes after the jump.
In perhaps his least CEO-y moment, Mackey anonymously confessesed to crushiness on himself, responding to one poster who made fun of his haircut (above). Mackey replied, under the Rahodeb screenname, ”I like Mackey’s haircut. I think he looks cute!”
But most notably, Mackey blogged a lot of smack about Wild Oats and discouraged potential investors, talking down the idea that WF might buy the company.
“Would Whole Foods buy OATS?…What would they gain…. OATS has no value and no future.”
Then Mackey and Whole Foods bought Wild Oats…niiiiice.
There’s a lot of hating going on in the blogosphere this week, but we’re going to have to come down squarely on J-Mac’s side on this one. After all, if the Internet isn’t a place where you can anonymously bash your enemies for personal and corporate gain, then what good is this thing? (Just for porn, I guess).
For mastering the art of ripping off eaters in real life and virtually, I hearby proclaim John Mackey Endless Simmer Eater of the Week.
Photo courtesy of Cox Newsweb.