This afternoon Whole Foods Market released the following statement from
Co-founder, Chairman and CEO, John Mackey:
"I sincerely apologize to
all Whole Foods Market stakeholders for my error in judgment in
anonymously participating on online financial message boards. I am very
sorry and I ask our stakeholders to please forgive me."
The SEC has initiated an informal investigation into the message board postings (see excerpts at the WSJ) and Whole Food's board has also initiated an independent internal investigation.
Meanwhile, over at Information Arbitrage, Roger Ehrenberg has a thoughtful post comparing Mackey's anonymous posts to the transparent forum of CEO blogs, namely that of Sun Microsystems's Johnathan Schwartz.
Will CEO blogging take off as a legitimate means of communicating broadly with stakeholders and the public via the internet or will corporate boards and legal teams over react and dissuade CEOs from blogging? I hope for the former but fear the latter.