John Mackey Profile

Co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, John Mackey has overseen the growth of his company from a single store in Austin Texas to a $12.9 billion Fortune 300 company. The natural and organic grocer now has more than 370 stores across the USA and 80,000 team members across the world. Mackey’s entrepreneurial expertise is backed with a determination to do business in a more conscious way; his success has been acknowledged by the fact that Whole Foods Market has been included on the Fortune magazine list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” for seventeen consecutive years.

Whole Foods Market has a number of visionary programs driven by Mackey’s passion for business that is about so much more than just the bottom line. The Whole Planet Foundation works to eradicate poverty in developing nations; the Local Producer Loan Program helps fund local farmers and food producers in business expansion; the Global Animal Partnership works to establish standards for the humane treatment of farm animals; and the Health Starts Here initiative encourages both customers and Team Members to work towards better health and wellness.

Paying himself just a dollar a year and working for the joy his service brings him, Mackey has received many honors, including Ernst &Young’s “United States Entrepreneur of the Year,” Institutional Investor’s “Best CEO in America,” Barrons’ “World’s Best CEO,” MarketWatch’s “CEO of the Year,” Fortune’s “Businessperson of the Year,” and Esquire’s “Most Inspiring CEO.”

A co-founder of the Conscious Capitalism Movement, Mackey’s book Conscious Capitalism, Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business sets out his vision of a free market that has an ethical conscience at its heart.

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    John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, has led the natural and organic grocer as it has grown from a single store in Austin, Texas, founded in 1978, to a $12.9 billion Fortune 300 company, and a top U.S. supermarket with more than 370 stores and 80,000 Team Members worldwide.

    While devoting his career to helping shoppers satisfy their lifestyle needs with high quality natural and organic foods, Mackey has also focused on building a more conscious way of doing business. For 17 consecutive years, Fortune magazine has included Whole Foods Market on its “100 Best Companies to Work For” list.

    Mackey has been the visionary for many successful programs at the core of Whole Foods Market. He founded Whole Planet Foundation to help end poverty in developing nations; he launched the Local Producer Loan Program to help local farmers and food producers expand their businesses; he created the Global Animal Partnership to set standards for humane farm animal treatment; and he laid the foundation for the company’s Health Starts Here initiative, which encourages health and wellness among customers and Team Members.

    He has been recognized for his work over the years by being named Ernst&Young’s “United States Entrepreneur of the Year,” Institutional Investor’s “Best CEO in America,” Barrons’ “World’s Best CEO,” MarketWatch’s “CEO of the Year,” Fortune’s “Businessperson of the Year,” and Esquire’s “Most Inspiring CEO,” among many others.

    A strong believer in free market principles, Mackey co-founded the Conscious Capitalism Movement to challenge business leaders to rethink why their organizations exist, and to acknowledge their roles in the interdependent global marketplace. He recently co-authored Conscious Capitalism, Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business to boldly defend and re-imagine capitalism while encouraging others to implement a way of doing business that is grounded in ethical consciousness.

    Mackey cut his pay to $1 in 2006 and continues to work for Whole Foods Market out of a passion to see the business realize its potential for deeper purpose, for the joy of leading a great company, and to answer the call to service he feels in his heart.

John Mackey Speaking Videos

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John Mackey's Speech Descriptions

Mackey brings his passion for ethical business practices to a series of thought-provoking talks that provide audiences with the inspiration to reinvent their business for greater ethical consciousness, leading to increasing success.

He also addresses current issues regarding healthcare and the healthcare system. Most diseases can be traced back to improper diet and exercise, which has grown rampant in the US and resulted in rising healthcare costs.

    Suggested Speaking Topics:

    • Creating a New Business Paradigm
    • Ethics and Corporate Consciousness
    • Health and Lifestyle Entrepreneurship

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Books by John Mackey:

Conscious Capitalism

Conscious Capitalism

In this book, Whole Foods Market cofounder John Mackey and professor and Conscious Capitalism, Inc. cofounder Raj Sisodia argue for the inherent good of both business and capitalism. Featuring some of today’s best-known companies, they illustrate how these two forces can—and do—work most powerfully to create value for all stakeholders: including customers, employees, suppliers, investors, society, and the environment.

These “Conscious Capitalism” companies include Whole Foods Market, Southwest Airlines, Costco, Google, Patagonia, The Container Store, UPS, and dozens of others. We know them; we buy their products or use their services. Now it’s time to better understand how these organizations use four specific tenets—higher purpose, stakeholder integration, conscious leadership, and conscious culture and management—to build strong businesses and help advance capitalism further toward realizing its highest potential.

As leaders of the Conscious Capitalism movement, Mackey and Sisodia argue that aspiring leaders and business builders need to continue on this path of transformation—for the good of both business and society as a whole.

At once a bold defense and reimagining of capitalism and a blueprint for a new system for doing business grounded in a more evolved ethical consciousness, this book provides a new lens for individuals and companies looking to build a more cooperative, humane, and positive.

Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World′s Problems

What if the distinction between business and doing good vanished? What if all those who engaged in business were committed to a deeper purpose, and all those committed to doing good were entrepreneurial and enterprising? What would it take for a world of seven billion such people to solve all the world′s problems?

More and more people are looking for meaning and purpose in their lives as employees, as consumers, and as investors. More and more people have more than enough material goods and are more interested in the qualities of the goods they buy; in the experiences associated with the services they provide and buy; in the way the companies they buy from act as citizens; and in self-actualization—rising up Maslow′s hierarchy. As an increasing percentage of the population reaches the point at which they no longer need more stuff, what will they do, how will they live their lives?

If you are one of these people, wondering where to go from here, how to “be the solution” in the twenty-first century, Be the Solution provides an original perspective on how to create a better world. Focused entirely on entrepreneurial and Conscious Capitalist solutions to the challenges and opportunities facing humanity, Be the Solution shows how the entrepreneurial passion to create a better world, in combination with Conscious Capitalist business practices, can solve far more of the world′s problems than any other approach.

In combination with leading Conscious Capitalists such as John Mackey writing on “Conscious Capitalism,” leading social entrepreneurs such as Muhammad Yunus writing on “Social Business,” and leading legal reform experts such as Hernando de Soto writing on “Is Economic Freedom for Everyone?,” entrepreneurial educator Michael Strong lays out a philosophical, social, and legal framework for a FLOW vision through which all problems may be solved entrepreneurially.

FLOW, Inc., is an organization cofounded by John Mackey and Michael Strong to promote Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi′s concept of flow as optimal experience—the state in which we are so immersed in challenging, creative activity that we forget that time is passing. To be engaged in flow activities is happiness itself. Whether we are creators of enterprises or entrepreneurially creative within our life as employees, we can embody the entrepreneurial spirit and, in the words of Michelangelo, “criticize by creating.”

In addition, FLOW refers to the global flow of goods, services, capital, humans, ideas, and culture, in a positive win-win-win world based on love rather than fear. Combining the best of the positive psychology and human potential movements with the best of free market thinking, FLOW offers a unique perspective on how to Be the Solution in the twenty-first century.

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