Whole Foods CEO on mission to improve capitalism’s reputation

 

MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS
MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS

Capitalism: a network of selfish corporations run by greedy, heartless tycoons — that was John P. Mackey’s view of America’s business community when he was a college student in the 1970s.

But a healthy dose of Adam Smith, Milton Freidman and other free-market economists — and a pivotal moment in which employees and customers helped rebuild the first Whole Foods store after a devastating flood — changed his mind, big time, Mackey told The World-Herald in an interview while in Omaha.

Mackey, 60, chief executive and co-founder of Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods and now co-author of “Conscious Capitalism,” is on a mission to rebrand capitalism and improve its reputation by demonstrating that love, passion, idealism and empathy play a central role in creating successful, competitive businesses.

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