The Patrick Byrne Award for Operational Focus and Excellence: Whole Foods CEO Rahodeb

by Johnny Debacle

WFMI PWNZ(NASDAQ: WFMI) has been pursuing its acquisition of Wild Oats (NASDAQ: OATS) as the FTC has tried to block it. A move we would describe as bold. Bold.

Unfortunately, CEO of Whole Foods, “Rahodeb” has been a little too bold in his efforts to effect the deal.

First, he offered this commentary on the deal to his board via e-mail, basically begging to be pounced by antitrust attack dogs:

“OATS remains a relevant competitor. By buying them we will greatly enhance our comps over the next few years and will avoid nasty price wars in Portland (both Oregon and Maine), Boulder, Nashville, and several other cities which will harm our gross margins and profitability. OATS may not be able to defeat us but they can still hurt us. Furthermore we eliminate forever the possibility of Kroger, SuperValu, or Safeway using their brand equity to launch a competing national natural/organic food chain to rival us.”

Second, he decided to have an “in real life” name that is far too similar to that of CEO of Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) with just an “e” sound separating the two. All you CEO names sound alike to me, give me a break here.

Third, following in the big clown shoes of Patrick Byrne of (NASDAQ: OSTK), he thought it would be a good idea to post to an anonymous stock message board about Whole Foods. The company for which he is the CEO. Protected only by the anonymity of an anagram of his wife’s name. I’m undecided if it’s a better or worse call than being a bat-crazy Quixote in public like Byrne. This is less ethical but more competent as as opposed to more ethical and less competent. But this is decidedley worse than not wearing a condom in Haiti, which is our standard threshold for management competence.

For this focused non-dedication to competent and sensible management, we award John “Rahodeb” Mackey with The Patrick Byrne Award for Operational Focus and Excellence. May all your current and future stockholders be warned

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  1. harvey
    July 12th, 2007 | 5:41 pm

    what the hell is going on in that picture? is that a woman with a shrunken head and a swim cap on giving him something wholesome and organic?

  2. July 12th, 2007 | 6:18 pm

    Anonymous forum postings are, indeed, a bold move for CEOs. However, research identifies a vast reservoir of pent-up demand from the more web-challenged executives to get their message out to “the masses”.
    To that end a services niche exists in the market, and will undoubtedly be filled (check out for more).