Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on Tuesday said it is a “mistake” for businesses to express political opinions, the Epoch Times reported.
“They should be good citizens in their communities in terms of trying to help solve social problems where they have competence to do so or where they can make philanthropic contributions that will help the communities they’re part of, but taking political positions, is, I believe, a mistake,” Mackey told Jan Jekielek on EpochTV’s American Thought Leaders.
He commented on the trend among international corporations of weighing in on sensitive political issues—as the CEOs of American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Delta and Levi’s did after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a moderate election reform law.
He said problems arise when CEOs speak on behalf of companies.
“That may not be the opinion of the of the investors, it may not be the opinions of the employees that work there, or the customers, or anyone else,” he said. “It’s just the opinions of the leaders.”
Mackey said that CEOs should not force shareholders to endorse certain opinions or alienate customers and threaten the company’s bottom line.
“The reality is, a country like the United States is very politically polarized right now,” he said. “So, taking sides is not in the best interest of your stakeholders; it’s not in the best interest of your shareholders; it’s not in the best interest of your customers.”
There’s some irony in Mackey’s comments because Amazon owns Whole Foods. The Jeff Bezos-founded tech company has been known to censor content it disagrees with—including books that question the dominant Marxist narrative, BLM, COVID and election integrity.