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Union Thugs Force Out Whole Foods CEO

We almost missed this little piece of Christmas cheer from the hardcore radical left, via the Associated Press:

Whole Foods CEO to Give Up Title of Chairman

December 25, 2009

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The chief executive of organic supermarket chain Whole Foods Market Inc. is giving up his title of chairman, following years of petitioning by an activist shareholder to separate the two roles.

Co-founder and CEO John Mackey is voluntarily giving up his chairmanship, a position he’s held since the Austin, Texas, company’s inception in 1978, according to a Thursday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mackey will remain on the board.

Whole Foods said lead director John Elstrott will become chairman. His current position will be discontinued.

At Whole Foods’ annual shareholders meeting in March, CtW Investment Group, a shareholder activist group that works with union pension funds, unsuccessfully proposed that the CEO and chairman roles be separated. The grocer said it has been receiving these proposals for three years.

But in August, CtW raised the stakes by calling for the CEO’s removal. The activist group said an editorial by Mackey opposing President Obama’s health care plan damaged the company’s reputation, especially among its left-leaning customers.

The group said Mackey ”attempted to capitalize on the brand reputation of Whole Foods to champion his personal political views but has instead deeply offended a key segment of Whole Foods consumer base.”

CtW said Mackey has become a ”liability” because of his ”indiscretion.”

The shareholder activist has wanted Mackey to relinquish his chairman title because it believes an independent chairman could improve the company’s stock price performance. CtW noted the stock had fallen 30 percent over the past five years ending Sept. 30, 2008 compared with a 14 percent gain in the S&P 500 Index.

This is how the left rewards people who were foolish enough to believe that Mr. Obama and the Democrats ever wanted an open discussion about healthcare reform.

Lest we forget, Mr. Mackey had the temerity to scribe an editorial in the Wall Street Journal wherein he offered the healthcare insurance system that has worked so well for Whole Foods as an alternative to nationalizing healthcare.

So naturally the radical union thugs at Change to Win (CtW) went after him.

CtW Investment Group – Who We Are

Founded in February 2006, the CtW Investment Group works with pension funds sponsored by unions affiliated with Change to Win, a federation of unions representing nearly 6 million members, to enhance long-term shareholder returns through active ownership.  Members of CtW affiliates participate in Taft-Hartley plans with an estimated $217 billion in assets.

The long-term health of these pension plans, and the retirement security of the workers and families who rely upon them, are threatened by conflicts of interest on Wall Street and in the boardroom, a corporate backlash that seeks to weaken the accountability of executives to shareholders, and outright corporate fraud.

The CtW Investment Group responds to these challenges by organizing workers’ capital into an effective voice for corporate accountability and retirement security.

Shareholder activism around corporate governance can enhance the assets of long-term investors – particularly those of worker funds that are broadly diversified across the whole market.  In addition, activities intended to monitor or influence the management of portfolio companies are consistent with a fiduciary’s obligations under ERISA.

The CtW Investment Group, therefore, develops strategies and initiatives to support efforts by trustees and their pension funds to be responsible active owners. For the 2008 proxy season, for example, we will be opposing the re-election of corporate directors who bear central responsibility for the mortgage market meltdown…

This is what the radical left means by tolerance.

But it is what most people used to call totalitarianism.

(Thanks to Debjeet for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, December 27th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Union Thugs Force Out Whole Foods CEO”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    Does this mean U.S. tax $$$$ to bail out these worthless deadbeats if they belly up?
    Here’s to you dying a slow, GM death!! (without a handout)

  2. proreason says:

    Whole Foods – the GM of the grocery industry.

    You aren’t buying organic lettuce. You are buying benfits for hippies and mansions for their thug masters.

  3. neocon mom says:

    This is sad news indeed but Mackey is a bright guy. As the saying goes it’s hard to keep a good man down. There’s more than Whole Foods to make a man wealthy, that’s the beauty of capitalism.

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