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Whole Foods CEO Mackey retiring in 2022

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AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market cofounder and chief executive officer John Mackey said he will retire effective September 1, 2022. Jason Buechel, who currently serves as Whole Foods’ chief operating officer, will succeed Mackey as CEO.

“September marked Whole Foods Market’s 43rd anniversary (including two years at Safer Way — the precursor to Whole Foods) and I’ve decided that it’s time to begin to transition my role as CEO to the next generation of leadership,” Mackey wrote to employees.

Mackey cofounded Safer Way in 1978 and opened the first Whole Foods Market in 1980. The chain, acquired by Amazon in 2017 for $13.7 billion, now operates about 527 stores.

Mackey said he chose Buechel, who joined Whole Foods in 2013 and was named COO in 2019, to be his successor.

“Jason is one of my most trusted partners, and I’m incredibly confident that the company will continue to evolve and thrive under his leadership,” he wrote. “Jason has a number of very special qualities that will help him succeed as our next CEO. Not only is he extraordinarily intelligent with unusually high integrity, he is also a servant leader who lives and embodies Whole Foods’ core values and leadership principles and is fundamentally just a good and loving person.”


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