Amazon announced on Friday that it was buying the high-end grocer Whole Foods.
Whole Foods hosted a town hall meeting with staff on the same day to talk through the deal, and thanks to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, we now know what was said.
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey touched on how Whole Foods’ culture would change as a result of the deal, and spelled out how the deal came together.
In addition, Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s CEO of Worldwide Consumer, was introduced to the staff, and shared the following story about how Whole Foods had changed his life:
“I am so excited to be here. We are so excited to be here. It’s a really — it’s an awesome day for us. I wanted to tell you just — a little bit about — how Whole Foods changed my life — as a start. As I was sitting — this morning, eating breakfast, watching the sun rise over this beautiful city — by the way, quinoa, blueberry, and some other vegetables.”
“I thought — I was thinking to myself that, “This is probably the healthiest breakfast I’ve eaten in a hotel in a long time.” And it reminded me of — showing up in Seattle 18 years ago. I was kind of a meat-and-potatoes person from the East coast. I met a bunch of people on the West coast who were eating in a different way. And they changed my health. They changed the way I thought about food. Changed the way I thought about raising kids — and what we would feed them. And you pioneered this. You — you drove people to think differently about what they ingest — and how they — how they go about their day, which is kind of remarkable. So I went from kinda meat and potatoes to adding a little fish. You know, it’s baby steps. (LAUGHTER) And about six years ago, I — kinda removed most carbs from the way I was eating. And that really highlights the produce that you’re consuming. At that point, you’re eating a lotta fruits and vegetables. And it matters where you get them from. And — the quality that you’ve built into that part of the operation, in addition to everything else — has really changed my life. So thank you. I wanted to say that, to start. We’re excited about a whole bunch of things that — that this brings together.
“When I walk around the stores, I notice an attention to detail, quality, customer experience that is very rare. I love that you invite local businesses and suppliers to come into the store and to present — their offering.”
“Mostly, I love the passion that the team members have. I mean, everybody you interact with loves workin’ for Whole Foods. They love what they do. They’re very knowledgeable. And they have been very helpful — in the interactions I’ve had over the years. So we’re incredibly excited. 87,000 team members — you’ve mentioned that a couple of times. Just it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to get to know each other. And I would say one thing to everybody, everybody in this team, which is please, please, please keep doing what you do best. Keep satisfying, delighting, and nourishing customers. Thank you.”
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