Whole Foods Board Decides Common Sense Ain't Common Enough: Bans Execs From Web Postings

from the common-sense-ain't-what-it-used-to-be dept

Over the summer, there was some press coverage over the news that the CEO of Whole Foods had, for years, been posting to Yahoo message boards about his company under a fake name. It doesn’t look like he did anything illegal, but it was certainly questionable from an ethical standpoint. Whole Foods’ board has now responded by changing the company’s “code of conduct” to ban execs from posting to non-company-sponsored web forums about company related news. In other words, the board felt the need to basically put what should be common sense into its code of conduct. Of course, the easy retort is that it clearly wasn’t common sense to the CEO who engaged in it, but one would think with the ongoing SEC investigation he’d now be pretty aware of this fact, and changing the company’s code of conduct is unlikely to have much of an impact.

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Companies: whole foods

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Comments on “Whole Foods Board Decides Common Sense Ain't Common Enough: Bans Execs From Web Postings”

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22 Comments
The Man says:

Re: Re: Review by InkChemist

People really think like you? What a sad life. Stop being so worried about what others have accomplished and you will be happier. CEO’s of companies got there by hard work. People in the free market make what they are worth based on merrit, real or projected. If you think you are worth more money, work harder and prove it. You will never achive anyting by sitting around and being negative about the amount of money other make. Get out and do something for yourself.

PS. Now that I am your life coach, 10% of any increased salary you recive based on this advise should be forwarded to me.

niftyswell says:

Re: Re: Re: Review by InkChemist

Here Here…the American way isnt to be jealous or suspicious of success but to embrace the fact that those opportunities are available to anyone willing to work hard enough to succeed! Awesome response – I went from homeless child to chemical engineer and there are very few societies that provide that kind of opportunity. If you are willing to work two jobs on night shift to finance your school during the day you can be successful too!

ehrichweiss says:

Re: Re: Re: Review by InkChemist

People really think like YOU? You’re assuming that someone has a sad life because they realize that some CEOs, etc. are completely rotten to the core; you’re assuming they are obsessing over this and aren’t doing things for themselves. Not everything is love and light, sometimes there is pain, death and suffering, and ignoring it, or suggesting that one do so, is one of the stupidest things you can do in life.

The Man says:

The reason for the change is obvious

I am suprised that Mike thinks the change in the companies code of conduct is not necessary. What is the first thing that will happen if they just fire the Exec for the obvious ethical breach? The wrongful term. lawyer will demand the documentation that specifically informs the employees that posting negative comments is against policy. They must have realized they did not have any documentaion and therefore writting it down for the next time this happens.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: The reason for the change is obvious

What is the first thing that will happen if they just fire the Exec for the obvious ethical breach? The wrongful term. lawyer will demand the documentation that specifically informs the employees that posting negative comments is against policy.

Last I checked Texas (where Whole Foods is based) is an at will employment state. In other words, Whole Foods can fire anyone with or without cause, as long as it’s not discriminatory.

In other words, there need not be a violation of policy to get fired.

barrenwaste (profile) says:

Huh

I’m afraid I don’t understand this. If it wasn’t illegal where is the problem? After reading the story and considering his actions, I fail to see how it was ethically questionable. When you break it down, he was merely advertising for his company and his “barbed” remarks weren’t that barbed. So he leaked information to the public via the internet and a pseudonym. Big deal, none of the information he leaked was sensitive or damaging to the company. Whole Foods should be shaking his hand and slapping his back. Has our paranoia reached such heights that merely speaking about what we do at work is ethically wrong?

Michael E. Rubin, GasPedal (user link) says:

Whole Foods misses the point

What an utterly ridiculous thing to do. When they need to be communicating directly with fans and advocates more than ever (real conversation), they shut themselves off to the world.

Here’s a better idea: Train your employees to participate the right way.

More here:
http://www.damniwish.com/2007/11/whole-foods-mis.html

Paul Costanzi says:

Re: Whole Foods and Policies

Being a former employee of Whole Foods I saw first hand how ignorant and defamatory Leaders are. Being separated and not being able to defend myself AT ALL I felt like I was being discriminated against. I wasn’t even allowed to hear or read any comments I was allegedly accused for.

Whole Foods may be a nice store to shop, but to work there is like working for a dictatorship. One slightest infraction and you are gone…no questions, not judge, jury or court. Just a noose.

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