While Austin-based Whole Foods Market has only been a part of Amazon for less than two months, John Mackey, the grocer’s CEO, recently said that the merger has been less than perfect, describing it as “challenging.”
Mackey spoke at the American Production and Inventory Control Society’s annual conference this past weekend, where he addressed the changes at Whole Foods since it was sold to Amazon in August for $13.7 billion. Mackey also said that he and other Whole Foods executives would be taking a retreat to help them achieve their “higher purpose” within Amazon. The contents of the speech were first reported by Forbes magazine.
Mackey has often not been shy about his thoughts when asked directly, with the CEO previously clashing with past Whole Foods stockholders publicly and opening up about Whole Foods’ struggles pre-Amazon in an extensive profile by Texas Monthly magazine this past June.
While Amazon received much attention by lowering prices on some items at Whole Foods after acquiring the grocer, research firms such as Gordon Haskett found that overall prices have only dropped about 1 percent.
Customer traffic at Whole Foods also saw an initial uptick, but it remains to be seen how the grocer will change long-term.
Amazon said Mackey would remain CEO of Whole Foods post-deal, though some market analysts have predicted that could change as the merger ages.
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