Whole Foods chief executive officer John Mackey (pictured above) will retire next September from his role at the Amazon.com Inc-owned company which he co-founded 43 years ago.
In a letter to Whole Foods employees on Thursday, Mackey said the company's chief operating officer, Jason Buechel, will take over as head of the upscale grocer.
Mackey said Buechel was his choice and the Amazon leadership had agreed with his decision.
Jason Buechel: An Experienced Professional
Buechel is an experienced professional who joined Whole Foods in 2013 as global vice-president and chief information officer and was promoted to executive vice-president in 2015 before being named chief operating officer in 2019.
Currently, he oversees technology, supply chain and distribution, and Team Member Services (TMS) in addition to being responsible for the operations of all WFM stores and facilities.
'Jason [Buechel] 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,' Mackey said in the letter.
Amazon's Whole Foods Acquisition
Amazon's $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017 had sent a shock through the stodgy US supermarket business as the e-commerce giant threatened to upend the way consumers shop at traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
Industry experts, however, have questioned Amazon's strategy with Whole Foods, especially last year when a boom in delivery demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to have overwhelmed the grocery retailer.