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Whole Food CEO doesn’t fret about climate, possessions or playing it safe

John Mackey, the co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, seems like a man of contradictions. His company’s motto is “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet” — yet he says there’s an upside to global warming. …

John Mackey

“I haven’t been outspoken about global warming. I’ve been smeared quite a bit in the media about it – all of a sudden, I’m a climate change denier. I mean, climate change is obviously occurring. So – it’s gotten a little bit warmer. I guess my position on it is that I don’t think that’s that big a deal. Actually, humanity’s flourished usually when temperatures gradually warmed.”…
As for regulation to reduce global warming, he said, “We can probably eliminate poverty on the planet earth in the next 50 years if we will just continue to follow the tenets of free enterprise capitalism to the greatest extent possible. So I just don’t want to see that change.”…
Mackey’s views on what he called the “higher purpose” of business are the subject of his new book “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business,” in which he advocates balancing profitability with social conscience. He told CNBC: “business has a very bad reputation in our society. Yet business is the greatest value creator in the world. Business needs to come to understand that it has the potential for a higher purpose, besides just maximizing profits and shareholder value.”
Mackey says he lives simply so he can give away more. He drives an ordinary car, he flies commercial. “I prefer that. I have what I need in life and I’m not about impressing people with a display of wealth. That doesn’t do anything for my self-esteem. I live relatively modestly and it gives me more money to give away and help other people with, “he said. …
The best advice he’s ever been given? “Life’s very short. None of us is getting out of here alive, therefore we should go for it. Don’t try to play it safe because there is no safety. So follow your heart, follow your passions. Life will be a grand adventure and it will be a lot of fun.”


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