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CNBC reports that while Whole Foods’ founder John Mackey remains in charge of the company a year after it was acquired by Amazon, Mackey is decidedly not in control “of the integration or the future of the business.” In fact, the story says, an organizational chart shows that “far from letting Mackey run Whole Foods as an independent operation, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is stacking the business with veterans of the e-commerce company who can weave the grocery chain's 484 stores into his broader vision for the future of physical retail.”
KC's View:
Yesterday we had a story about Mackey saying that he’s had to “speak truth to power,” that Amazon has “backed off” when he’s stood up for the company’s soul, and that he’s not afraid to be fired if it comes to that. I suspect that Bezos doesn’t want to rip out the self-perceived soul of the company, but is carefully building a bench so that when (not “if”) it happens, nobody will miss a beat.

BTW…I asked rhetorically yesterday if many consumers actually know who Mackey is, and one MNB reader responded:

I had to remember who John Mackey was and I am in the Supermarket business. However since Amazon took over Whole Foods the pricing became more competitive and shoppers tell me that finally another quality chain has given Publix a run for their money in SE Florida. Interesting race but by no means a sprint.

Betcha more people know who Jeff Bezos is…