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Join host Paul Shapiro as he talks with some of the leading start-up entrepreneurs and titans of industry alike using their businesses to help solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Oct 1, 2020

When this podcast was first launched in 2018, the very first guest was Whole Foods Market CEO and co-founder John Mackey. In that episode, we talked about his book Conscious Capitalism. Well, John has a new book out now, Conscious Leadership, and to commemorate our 50th episode, he rejoins the podcast for a second conversation and rest assured, John does not disappoint.

In this episode we cover a wide range of topics:

  • What did John learn from an attempted (unsuccessful) coup at Whole Foods to oust him from the CEO position?
  • In which cultivated meat company did both Whole Foods Market and John personally take an investment position?
  • What does he think future generations will think about our treatment of animals?
  • Why does plant-based cheese sell better when it’s not located in the dairy section?
  • Will there be a post-Whole Foods chapter in John’s life?

Enjoy the full episode, and all of these questions (plus more!) will be answered. 

Discussed in this episode

Whole Foods Market History

Whole Foods Market was founded in Austin, Texas, when four local businesspeople decided the natural foods industry was ready for a supermarket format. Co-founders included John Mackey and Renee Lawson Hardy, owners of Safer Way Natural Foods, and Craig Weller and Mark Skiles, owners of Clarksville Natural Grocery. The original Whole Foods Market opened in 1980 with a staff of only 19 people. It was an immediate success. At the time, there were less than half a dozen natural food supermarkets in the United States.

In 2017, Amazon purchased Whole Foods Market for nearly $14 billion. As of 2020, the company operates more than 500 store locations.