News / Industry News

Mackey Talks Conscious Capitalism To PLMA Crowd

November 12, 2012
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

Whole Foods Market CEO and co-founder John Mackey told a packed crowd Monday at the PLMA Salute To Excellence breakfast that business people were the heroes of the world story, helping to eradicate hunger from the planet and pulling billions up out of poverty.

Mackey studied philosophy and religion when he was in college, and those skills were on full display in his nearly hour-long presentation at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare ballroom. He talked about the advancements made over the past 200 years since capitalism took hold around the world, lifting billions out of hunger and putting the globe on pace to eradicate abject poverty in the next 50 years.

Yet despite the successes, he said, business people were vilified and shackles were being placed on capitalism and businesses.

“Businesses are the heroes of the story,” he said. “We are not the villains. We are the ones helping humanity to prosper and evolve. … (But) businesses are still hated. We’re a bunch of greedy bastards. That’s how business is portrayed in the world.”

Businesses themselves need to change that narrative as quickly as possible, Mackey said.

“The intellectuals have always hated business people,” he said. “This isn’t new. Study your history. You cannot underestimate the power of envy.

“The biggest problem though is that the economists and business people themselves do a bad job of defending themselves. Greed is not good. Wealth is good. Prosperity is good. But greed is not good.”

Mackey said that the 21stCentury required a new kind of capitalism. A conscious capitalism, based on four ideas.

  • Business has a higher purpose than just making money.
  • Business should be managed on behalf of all the stakeholders, within and connected to the company.
  • Helping suppliers to flourish will also ensure that your business will flourish.
  • Leaders need to be servant leaders, concerned about the best choices for all involved and not simply attracted to power or money.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Private Label Buyer.

Recent Articles by Chris Freeman

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

September 2013 New Non-Food Products

This month’s new non-food products include soft chews for dogs, bottle labeling technology, skin-care products, eyebrow razors, and baby-safe laundry detergent.


Coming with a clear, comprehensive plan was the key to success for Longo Brothers Fruit Markets when the grocer decided to roll out a two-tier private label strategy, Jenny Longo and Robert Koss tell PLBuyer editor Chris Freeman in this podcast.

More Podcasts


Private Label Buyer Magazine

PLB April 2014 cover

April 2014

The April 2014 issue of Private Label Buyer includes articles on Omnichannel, store brand sauces, and more. Check it out today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

NBB Private Label Foods

Which factors will drive further awareness—and development—of national-brand-better (NBB) private label foods?
View Results Poll Archive

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

plbuyer superstore logo


facebook_40px twitter_40px  youtube_40pxlinkedin_40px