Whole Foods CEO Mackey Caught Sock-Puppeting

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Ouch. News yesterday that Whole Foods Markets founder and CEO John Mackey used a fake identity on Yahoo message boards for years to bash his competition and flaunt his own company's stock has left us with a funny taste in our mouth.

Using the handle "Rahodeb" (his wife's name backwards scrambled), Mackey posted messages that put down the competition, and fluffed not only his company's image, but his own personal image ("I like Mackey’s haircut. I think he looks cute!")

Does this news change public opinion about the store? One could argue this was an isolated and albeit embarrassing peccadillo, but with little affect on the business. One could also argue that if the CEO of a Fortune 500 company is spending his time performing such shenanigans, he must have other ghosts in his closet. Are we, as shoppers, being deceived about what is organic, what is local? The question of trust, in this case, surely can't be ignored.

Mackey has a blog on the Whole Foods website, but so far there is no response to this piece of news.

So Mackey did something silly: how many will it stop from shopping at Whole Foods?

(via The New York Times)

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Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. She is most recently the co-author of The Kitchn Cookbook, to be published in October 2014 by Clarkson Potter.