At least a dozen Whole Foods Market Inc. executives and senior managers have resigned in the months after Amazon.com Inc.'s 2017 acquisition of the grocery chain, The Wall Street Journal reported March 22, citing multiple sources with knowledge of the matter.
The sources include former Whole Foods employees and recruiters, who said the departures span the grocer's bakery, produce, sustainability and local-foods divisions. Some reportedly departed despite requests to stay from higher levels in the company, while others claim they were pushed out during the time between the announcement and closing of the Amazon deal.
Sources also told the WSJ that some of Whole Foods' top managers were displeased about having to report to younger executives at Amazon, and that the e-commerce giant is uncommunicative and has yet to provide details of its integration plans for the grocer.
Whole Foods CEO and co-founder John Mackey said in a statement: "We ... have maintained our distinctive culture while embracing many of Amazon's leadership principles."
In a separate statement, Amazon senior vice president Steve Kessel, who is tasked with overseeing Whole Foods, said: "We are off to a great start, and look forward to many years of future success together."
This news comes shortly after a meeting that Whole Foods held with its suppliers, reportedly to ease tensions and uncertainties that have followed the acquisition.