Whole Foods CEO John Mackey Just Announced His Retirement

There is some news all fans of Whole Foods should pay attention to because big changes are coming to the Amazon-owned grocery store chain.

It was just announced that the CEO of Whole Foods is retiring in September 2022. John Mackey, who is a co-founder of the grocery chain, shared his decision to step down in a letter to employees he referred to as "fellow team members" before it was released publicly on the Whole Foods website. When he retires, he will have dedicated 44 years to the company. In 1978, Mackey first started an all-natural grocery store called SaferWay in Austin, Texas. The store merged with another natural grocery store in the area two years later to become Whole Foods, which spread across the country over the next few decades (via CNBC).

"Words cannot begin to express how deeply grateful I am ... I may be retiring from Whole Foods a year from now, but so long as I am still alive, I will remain connected to Whole Foods and will do all that I possibly can to help us all continue to flourish," Mackey said in the statement.

The future of Whole Foods

When John Mackey steps down in September 2022, Jason Buechel will become the new CEO of Whole Foods. Buechel is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the company, a role he has been in for two years after joining Whole Foods as Global Vice President and Chief Information Officer in 2013 (via Whole Foods). Buechel was Mackey's choice as his successor and Amazon leadership agreed with his choice.

The transition is occurring as the grocery store chain continues to adapt to the industry's changing landscape. Investors were concerned about the company's poor performance and pressured Mackey to sell to Amazon in 2017 for $13.7 billion, after which prices were lowered as Amazon explored different Prime membership benefits in-store, according to CNBC.

Changes continue to be made as the demand for grocery delivery has grown over the past year, as customers were not satisfied with long wait times and issues with Amazon's implementation of new delivery processes, per Reuters. The latest change is a new $9.95 fee for all grocery deliveries, ending the free delivery previously offered to Amazon Prime members (via Bloomberg).