8 facts about Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey
Since its launch in the 1970s in Texas, Whole Foods Market has provided healthy, wholesome foods, expanding their operations across America, acquiring several companies, such as Fresh Fields, Bread of Life and Nature’s Heartland. Originally founded by John Mackey, Mackey has maintained his CEO position at the company throughout its rein and will continue to maintain its operations for the foreseeable future. However, Walter Robb, who originally joined the company in 2010 and worked in collaboration with Mackey as co-CEO, will be taking on a senior advisory role and will remain on the company board through the transformation process.
Here are our top 8 facts regarding John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market
- He co-wrote the novel Conscious Capitalism alongside Rajendra Sisodia in 2003
- In the same year, Mackey was named Ernest & Young Enterpreneur of the year.
- A strict Vegan, Mackey has been an enduring supporter of animal welfare rights and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Global Animal Partnership to address these issues.
- In order to ensure his staff are well paid and appreciated, Mackey takes home just $1 a year, whilst money he would have seen himself is now placed in an emergency funding systems for employees who may need financial aid
- His controversial views have become a long-standing subject of debate throughout America, with a distrust of the country’s anti-unions, his feelings that individuals are “entitled” to healthcare, alongside his political views on how the government is run.
- Since its inception, Whole Foods has now expanded its operations to Canada and the UK, further increasing their revenue and market presence
- With an increased focus on creating not only sustainable produce, but sustainable working environments, the company obtained a “Green Building” award in Texas back in 1998.
- Mackey has ensured both employees and consumers are educated in the benefits of sustainable, whole foods in order to support the environment.
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How innovation is transforming government
According to Washington Technology’s Top 100 list, Leidos is the largest IT provider to the government. But as Lieutenant General William J. Bender explains, “that barely scratches the surface” of the company’s portfolio and drive for innovation.
Bender, who spent three and a half decades in the military, including a stint as the U.S. Air Force’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), has seen action in the field and in technology during that time, and it runs in the family. Bender’s son is an F-16 instructor pilot. So it stands to reason Bender Senior intends to ensure a thriving technological base for the U.S. Air Force. “What we’re really doing here is transforming the federal government from the industrial age into the information age and doing it hand-in-hand with industry,” he says.
The significant changes that have taken place in the wider technology world are precisely the capabilities Leidos is trying to pilot the U.S. Air Force through. It boils down to developing cyberspace as a new domain of battle, globally connected and constantly challenged by the threat of cybersecurity attacks.
“We recognize the importance of the U.S. Air Force’s missions,” says Bender, “and making sure they achieve those missions. We sit side-by-side with the air combat command, intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance infrastructure across the Air Force. There are multiple large programs where the Air Force is partnering with Leidos to ensure their mission is successfully accomplished 24/7/365. In this company, we’re all in on making sure there’s no drop in capability.”
That partnership relies on a shared understanding of delivering successful national security outcomes, really understanding the mission at hand, and Leidos’ long-standing relationship of over 50 years with the federal government.
To look at where technology is going, Bender thinks it is important to look back at the last 10 to 15 years. “What we’ve seen is a complete shift in how technology gets developed,” he says. “It used to be that the government invested aggressively in research and development, and some of those technologies, once they were launched in a military context, would find their way into the commercial space. That has shifted almost a hundred percent now, where the bulk of the research and development dollars and the development of tech-explicit technologies takes place in the commercial sector.”
“There’s a long-standing desire to adopt commercial technology into defense applications, but it’s had a hard time crossing the ‘valley of death’ [government slang for commercial technologies and partnerships that fail to effectively transition into government missions]. Increasingly we’re able to do that. We need to look at open architectures and open systems for a true plug-and-play capability. Instead of buying it now and trying to guess what it’s going to be used for 12 years from now, it should be evolving iteratively.”