Next Whole Foods CEO wants to reconnect the chain with its higher purpose – RetailWire

Jul 11, 2022

speaking to The Wall Street Journal World Food ForumJason Buchel stated one of his goals as the next CEO of Whole Foods Market is “to reconnect with many parts of our heritage as a company.

Mr. Buechel, who will replace Co-founder of Whole Foods John Mackey on September 1 noted that there have been “just a lot of changes within the business over the last five to six years” following the acquisition of Amazon.com in 2017. He said particularly called the “distractions” over the past two years as associate and customer safety, as well as supply chain challenges, have become a priority.

“One of my main goals is to reconnect with our higher purpose, mission and core values ​​with our team members,” Mr. Buechel said. “We’ve been through a lot.”

Mr. Buechel, who worked alongside Mr. Mackey as COO since 2019 said a major shift under Amazon ownership has been to invest aggressively in pricing which he says has attracted new customers and better positioned the chain for pressures. current inflationary.

“Our price perception is better now,” Mr. Buchel. “And as we look to the broader market, we’re really proud of where we stand, especially on entry-level pricing for high-quality products.”

Amazon has also helped Whole Foods adopt a “long-term vision” to support investments in areas such as pricing and supply chain as well as the chain’s broader mission to raise quality and ethical standards in the grocery space . As a public company, quarterly growth and profit targets often took priority, but Amazon ownership has helped Whole Foods explore what they’re “going to do in 10 years that’s going to change the world,” according to Mr. Buchel.

“What are the things we are going to do to reduce food waste,” he said. “What are we going to do to improve our social environmental impact? And so for me, that’s something that’s important. This is important for our team members. It is important for our stakeholders. This is one of our differentiations. We are more than just a grocery store.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What advice would you have for Jason Buechel as he prepares to take over as CEO of Whole Foods? What commercial strengths should be built on and what weaknesses should be strengthened?

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“Whole Foods will need to take bold and visible steps to stand out from the crowd and remove its offering from Amazon.”

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