The Real Reason Whole Foods' CEO Reduced His Salary To $1

Whole Foods is a name to reckon with in the grocery industry these days. The company prides itself on its dedication to providing its customers with wholesome food options that are made without ingredients like hydrogenated fats, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, preservatives, and more. As a description on the brand's website says, "If you want to know what goes into the products you buy, our standards make it easy, because if it doesn't meet the standards, we won't sell it."

The brand was started in 1978 by the CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, who began his journey with borrowed money from friends and family members. His hard work paid off over the years and Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017 (via CNBC). Over the years, Mackey has remained dedicated to his company and his team members. In fact, he's extra mindful about doing right by his employees. He once revealed that he is careful when he's providing feedback at a store and focuses on positive reinforcement.

In another display of dedication, back in 2016, Mackey made the major announcement that he was taking a huge pay cut. Here's why.

He didn't need the money

As per Fast Company, Mackey wrote a letter to his staff at Whole Foods and explained that he was at a point in life when he didn't feel the need for a lot of money and was financially secure. Mackey wrote, "The tremendous success of Whole Foods Market has provided me with far more money than I ever dreamed I'd have and far more than is necessary for either my financial security or personal happiness." He was 53 at that time and said that he didn't feel the need to strive for money anymore but to simply put in the hours "for the joy of the work itself."

He further announced that he'd be only be earning $1 from January 1, 2007, and won't accept cash compensation of any kind. That said, it's worth noting that Mackey has nearly one million shares of stock and got $8 million when Amazon decided to acquire Whole Foods. Safe to say, the CEO's finances remained stable and his net worth is believed to be over $75 million.