May 27, 2008

Whole Foods CEO broke no laws

John Mackey, CEO of the Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods, has come out clean on the other side of an SEC investigation into a tidal wave of anonymous postings he made on Yahoo Finance praising his own company while denigrating his chief competition, the Wall Street Journal reports. Whole Foods later bought the object of Mackey's derision, Wild Oats, prompting the inquiry.

The 11-month investigation looked at whether Mackey's "1,400-odd anonymous messages under the screen name 'Rahodeb' had broken any laws, but concluded no action needed to be taken against the CEO or the company.

"As a result, Mr. Mackey has returned to the Web with a vengeance, posting a 2,037 word piece on Whole Foods' Web site in which he says he is sorry the investigation put a negative spotlight on the company."


"I don't wish to apologize for being highly competitive, because much of my drive and creativity come from this competitiveness," he said. "I don't believe that I ever crossed the line of fair but vigorous debate in these postings."

Mackey added that he's relieved to get back to his blog.

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