this is supposedly a compendium of postings from the ceo of whole foods on yahoo finance under a made up screen name. it’s simply unbelievable.
Rahodeb’s Greatest Hits
July 13, 2007 3:26 p.m.
For about eight years until last August, Whole Foods Market Inc. CEO John Mackey posted numerous messages on Yahoo Finance stock forums under the logon "Rahodeb" (an anagram of Deborah, Mr. Mackey’s wife’s name).
Rahodeb cheered Whole Foods’ financial results, trumpeted his gains on the stock and bashed Wild Oats Markets Inc., a company that Whole Foods is currently trying to acquire. Rahodeb even defended Mr. Mackey’s haircut when another user poked fun at a photo in the annual report. "I like Mackey’s haircut," Rahodeb said. "I think he looks cute!" Below are some posts of particular note.
Rahodeb on Whole Foods
Mackey the boastful, on Nov. 29, 2000:
"Obviously WFMI is no Wal-Mart (not yet anyway!)"
Criticizing rival Sunflower, an organic grocery store opened by Supervalu:
"Sunflower isn’t too impressive. These guys won’t hurt Whole Foods. Wait and see."
Predicting Whole Foods will someday be a mammoth, June 25, 2004:
I believe that what is really happening with the stock is that some really smart institutions are finally realizing what I realized many years ago: Whole Foods Market is going to be a really large company someday. They will hit their $10 billion sales target by the end of the decade (probably before then) and they won’t stop there. It will double to $20 billion 4 years after that (18% CAGR) and probably double again from there to $40 billion within 5 years of then.
The entire food retailing segment is undergoing a huge transformation. Wal-Mart is going to dominate the low price side of the business and Whole Foods is going to dominate the quality/service/healthy side of the business. Those companies stuck in the middle — Safeway, Kroger, & Albertsons — have huge labor union problems that aren’t going to go away, but are likely to only get worse. The future has never looked brighter for Whole Foods than it does right now.
Soliciting advice on corporate strategy, in June 1999:
"If Whole Foods acquired Harry’s do you think they should keep the Harry’s name or change it to Whole Foods Market? How strong is the brand name/goodwill in
for this company?"
Rahodeb on His Identity
Claming to be George W. Bush, denying he’s John Mackey, in January 2004:
"I’ve stated my identity on this board before, but no one apparently believed me. I am George W. Bush and a long-time customer of Whole Foods Market. I own quite a bit of stock in the company and have owned it since the IPO back in 1992. … At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what my non-screen identity really is or what yours is or who anyone else’s is on this board.
"dcc7 [the screen name of another member of the forum] has claimed that my true identity is John Mackey. You can believe that one or not. Doesn’t matter to me. If I really am Mackey, then I’m the ultimate insider at Whole Foods and you would be well served to pay attention to what I have to say on this board. If you don’t believe I’m Mackey (admittedly the idea seems pretty far fetched) then you should still pay attention to what I have to say on this board if my ideas and arguments make sense. If they don’t make sense or you disagree with me — well that’s what bulletin boards like this are all about."
April 25, 2006:
"I am a smartass. So what."
Rahodeb on World Events
Commenting on President Bush’s 2004 re-election, Nov. 3, 2004:
"3.5 million popular vote victory, over 51% of the total vote, and when it is all said and done — 286 electoral votes to Kerry’s 252.
"The anger and hatred of Bush by the Left has not produced victory but rather defeat. Combined with additional seats in the Senate and the House, the defeat of Tom Daschle in
, and a majority of State Governorships (plus future Bush nominees to the Supreme Court) means that the Democratic Party continues to lose support and power in
. Time for the Democrats to accept reality, regroup, move away from the Michael Moore’s and other Leftist extremists in their Party and move back towards the center. If they do, then they might begin to win more elections and eventually regain majority status. If they don’t — well the Republicans will dominate political power in
for decades to come."
On a book called "The Skeptical Environmentalist" by Bjorn Lomborg, in October 2004:
"Well, ‘The Skeptical Environmentalist’ was pretty convincing to me and I’ve read very widely about the environment for many years. Lomborg has challenged the current environmental paradigm of doom and gloom. Anyone who authoritatively challenges consensus beliefs is going to be viciously attacked by people who see the world differently. People don’t like to change their beliefs and prefer to dismiss and attack opinions that differ from their own.
"I recommend your reading Lomborg’s own defense of the critical attacks on his personal website. Again I find his defense intellectually compelling."
Rahodeb on John Mackey
Criticizing Mackey for the company’s weak investments outside of retail, in October 2000:
"Everything Whole Foods has done outside of retail hasn’t worked."
And again in November 2000:
"Despite WFMI’s ineptness in investing in businesses outside its core retail expertise, the company continues to open great new stores with high sales, produces strong comp sales growth for stores over 12 months in age, and continues to grow core retail earnings at a 20%+ clip."
On Mr. Mackey’s personality and message:
"Mackey’s message seems to be that Whole Foods is going to run its business for the benefit of its customers, employees, and its long-term investors–not to please the Street or sell-side analysts. Based upon the strong rise in the stock the message has been well received by the Market, if not by the sell-side analysts.
"I like the message. Why should Whole Foods worry about inflation when they can’t do anything about it? They shouldn’t and they don’t."
On a June 2004 New York Times Magazine piece about Mr. Mackey:
"Overall I thought the article was good. However, I’m more enthusiastic about Whole Foods than the journalist was. It seems hard for him to believe that a business can be both profit seeking and socially responsible at the same time."