November 29, 2017

Whole Foods co-CEO to headline SEPC’s Southern Exposure

John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, will be presenting the keynote address at Southern Exposure in Tampa, Florida on March 3, 2018, the Southeast Produce Council has announced.

“We are honored this year to have John Mackey share his insights on how the landscape will change and remain the same with the Whole Foods and Amazon merger,” SEPC CEO David Sherrod said in a release. “This exciting keynote session should provide relevant information for all of our attendees, no matter what sector they represent.”

John Mackey has taken the natural and organic grocer from a single store in Austin, Texas in 1978, to a $14 billion Fortune 500 company and a top U.S. supermarket with more than 400 stores and 87,000 team members in three countries. In 1981, Austin’s worst flood in history almost bankrupted the original store, and community efforts to save it shaped Mackey’s leadership philosophy to “do right by your stakeholders and they’ll do right by you.”

While devoting his entire career to providing shoppers with high quality natural and organic foods, Mackey has also focused on building a more conscious way of doing business. He led the company through more than 20 acquisitions, took Whole Foods Market public in 1992 and plans to grow the company to 1,200 stores. Online sales giant Amazon acquired the bricks-and-mortar chain earlier this year.

Out of his respect for equity among Team Members, Mackey implemented a salary cap for all executives. He cut his own salary to $1 annually in 2006, and forgoes stock options and bonuses.

Registration information for Southern Exposure is available at

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