Today on Business Rockstars, Ken Rutkowski talks with Whole Foods Co-CEO and Co-Founder, John Mackey.
As the Co-CEO and C0-Founder of Whole Foods Market, John Mackey has devoted his life to selling natural foods and building a better business model. Recently, Mackey co-authored with Rajendra Sisodia, the new book, Conscious Capitalism.
He has led the natural and organic grocer as it has grown from a single store in Austin, Texas, founded in 1978, to an $11 billion Fortune 300 company, and a top U.S. supermarket with more than 340 stores and 70,000 Team Members worldwide.
While devoting his career to helping shoppers satisfy their lifestyle needs with high quality natural and organic foods, Mackey has also focused on building a more conscious way of doing business. For 15 consecutive years, FORTUNE magazine has included Whole Foods Market on its “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, and on its most recent list of Most Admired Companies, the magazine ranked Whole Foods #1 in its category.
Mackey has been the visionary for many successful programs at the core of Whole Foods Market. He founded Whole Planet Foundation to help end poverty in developing nations; he launched the Local Producer Loan Program to help local farmers and food producers expand their businesses; he created the Global Animal Partnership to set standards for humane farm animal treatment; and he laid the foundation for the company’s Health Starts Here initiative, which encourages health and wellness among customers and Team Members.
He has been recognized for his work over the years by being named Ernst&Young’s “United States Entrepreneur of the Year,” Institutional Investor’s “Best CEO in America,” Barron’s “World’s Best CEO,” MarketWatch’s “CEO of the Year,” FORTUNE’s “Businessperson of the Year,” and Esquire’s “Most Inspiring CEO,” among many others.
A strong believer in free market principles, Mackey co-founded the Conscious Capitalism Movement to challenge business leaders to rethink why their organizations exist, and to acknowledge their roles in the interdependent global marketplace.
Mackey cut his pay to $1 in 2006 and continues to work for Whole Foods Market out of a passion to see the business realize its potential for deeper purpose, for the joy of leading a great company, and to answer the call to service he feels in his heart.