CtW Investment Group calls for the the Board of Directors of Whole Foods to remove John Mackey after he dared suggest an alternativeto state run healthcare.
Their letter, in part, is concerned about business and, one would think, the value of WFMI stock.
“Mr. Mackey attempted to capitalize on the brand reputation of Whole Foods to champion his personal political views, but has instead deeply offended a key segment of Whole Foods consumer base,” said CtW Investment Group Executive Director Bill Patterson. “This is not the first time Mr. Mackey’s unsanctioned communications have damaged Whole Foods’ image with consumers and investors. At a time when shareholders are looking for Whole Foods’ management to focus on improving operations in an uncertain economy, we can not afford the risk to our Company’s brand reputation caused by Mr. Mackey’s indiscretion. He has become a liability and the board should begin the process of identifying a suitable replacement.”
What’s interesting, is that since the WSJ printed Mr. Mackey’s OpEd on august 12, their stock price has risen from $27.82 to $28.78. Now, certainly, the fluctuations in the stock price probably have little to do with the personal opinions of the CEO, or with any impact of a boycott or increase in traffic due to a response to that boycott. But it’s up, nonetheless.
Oh, also I’m sure, completely unrelated to the CtW call for his removal, is a the description of who they are from their letter.
The CtW Investment Group works with pension funds sponsored by unions affiliated with Change to Win, a federation of unions representing nearly 6 million members, to enhance long-term shareholder returns through active ownership. These funds are substantial long-term Whole Foods shareholders
So I’m sure this has nothing to do with their politics. It’s just business.
(Note: I’m all for activist ownership. These folks are share owners, and have every right to try influence the board of directors of Whole Foods. That freedom is one of the freedoms government run healthcare will take away. You can’t boycott a government monopoly, and you can’t ‘invest’ somewhere else.)