The cofounder and CEO of grocery giant Whole Foods Market today urged material handling executives to do business with a high level of morality and integrity, saying the combination of free enterprise and an "evolved consciousness of purpose" will transform the way people work and live.
Keynoting the second day of the ProMat 2015 conference in Chicago, John Mackey said the basic act of transacting business is "one of the most human things we can do." Done with honesty and compassion, business becomes a winner for all parties involved, Mackey told the standing-room-only gathering.
Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods, which focuses on providing high-end foods with an emphasis on quality and healthfulness, has cultivated a reputation as having a progressive and inclusive culture. In fact, Mackey said his biggest concern is that Whole Foods has grown so big and will become so bureaucratic that it will lose the human qualities that helped vault it into prominence.
Mackey said that while many executives operate honorably, business in general is demonized by the press, pundits and the general public. "Business," he said, "is judged by its worst practitioners."