Whole Foods Execs Flee After Amazon Takeover

The workplace culture at Amazon is famous for long hours, internecine squabbling and a ruthless emphasis on finishing projects on time, regardless of whatever complicating circumstances might arise (which is why it is perfect workplace for robots). At least that's what the New York Times claimed in a series about the company's workplace culture published a couple years back. Jeff Bezos was so enraged by the piece that it seems ever since the Amazon comms department has delivered every major scoop about the company's ever-expanding business empire to the Wall Street Journal, just to spite the Gray Lady.

The latest of these arrived today (again courtesy of WSJ, of course), although it is hardly a glowing review of the company's organizational process. In the latest example of how Amazon is upending Whole Foods' unique corporate culture, we learn that an exodus is underway at the purveyor of Millennial-targeting, organic goodness (once widely derided as "Whole Paycheck" before Bezos conjured up his cost-cutting magic).


In what is hardly an endorsement of the Bezos' management style, "more than a dozen" senior Whole Foods managers have already left the company since Amazon acquired the supermarket chain:

An executive exodus is under way at Whole Foods, as Amazon.com Inc. integrates the pioneering natural grocer into its retail empire. More than a dozen executives and senior managers have left since Amazon acquired Whole Foods last year, according to former employees and recruiters steering them to new jobs. People who have left include leaders of the bakery, produce, sustainability and local-foods divisions.

Some veterans have left even though higher-ups asked them to stay. Others say they were pushed out after the deal was announced but before it closed, as Whole Foods sought to tighten command.

Executives from Amazon and Whole Foods said that the two companies share a customer focus, are fitting together well and have made great strides in the merger in a short time. But the exodus has raised concerns among employees and suppliers that the distinctive approach that made Whole Foods a natural and organic powerhouse won’t endure under Amazon’s ownership.

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Gary Anderson 3 years ago Contributor's comment

Besos wanted to sell coke. He is one of the world's wealthiest guys if you don't count shadowy banking families. Yet he has no class. He is as gentrified as a Beverly hillbilly without the humor.