Well, it seems Wal-Mart isn't the only retailer practicing deception on the Internet. John. P. Mackey, the vegan yogi CEO of Whole Foods Market, has been unmasked by the Federal Trade Commission as Rahodeb, an inveterate Yahoo message board contributor who touted the specialty retailer's stock and had a certain fondness for its leader's grooming. Rahodeb, I mean Mackey, reportedly posted more than 1,000 entries over a seven-year period.
In case you haven't been following the saga, Mackey wants to buy rival Wild Oats Markets, but the FTC wants to deep-six the deal. Mackey wants to deep-six the FTC. He has questioned the agency's legitimacy and accused it of being "hostile and adversarial towards Whole Foods."
Well, Mackey's got that right. The Rahodeb disclosure was contained in a footnote of a document made public by the FTC late Tuesday and reported late yesterday by the Wall Street Journal Online. I can't imagine where the little birdie came from who told the Journal to look for the footnote. Government bureaucrats can be awfully touchy when a CEO they are challenging publicly questions their ethics and integrity.
But let's give Mackey his due. Wal-Mart reportedly pays Edelman some $1 million a year to come up with such ideas as the infamous "Wal-Marting Across America." It appears that Mackay concocted and executed his deception all by his lonesome at no cost. Whole Foods' shareholders gained further value for the $1 a year Mackey takes in salary.
From a crisis communications prospective, I also give Mackey credit for choosing to post a statement on Whole Foods' website, rather than granting an interview to the Journal – he would no doubt have dug himself a deeper hole. But his unnamed spokeswoman did him in instead. "(Mackey's) comments weren't illegal" she told the Journal. Yes, but that begs the question, "does he still beat his wife?"
On Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 7:41 AM, Ronn Torossian, President and CEO of 5WPR, emphatically promised that he was going to sue us. No real reason, he was just irritated by our teasing him about getting in bed with pornographer Joe Francis. Anyway, Ronn gave his obscenity-laced word that we'd see the complaint in 72 hours. It's now late by
Kathleen Durazo about A Measly $2.8 Million Goes Missing, Lawsuit Results Fri, Jul 31, 10:58:34 AM Ray Durazo (the founder) sold the company to Dan in 1999. He was not involved in any of this. He (and I) found out about the lawsuit in the LA Times. In addition to embezzling this m [...]