The New Yorker article on Whole Foods is a good read if you want to learn more about how John Mackey, the eccentric, controversial CEO, manages to run a huge corporation. The articles summarizes Whole Foods perfectly:
To some, Whole Foods is Whole Paycheck, an overpriced luxury for yuppie gastronomes and fussy label-readers. Or it is Holy Foods, the commercial embodiment of environmental and nutritional pieties. To hard-core proponents of natural and organic food, and of food production that’s local, polycultural, and carbon-stingy, Whole Foods is a disappointment—a bundle of big-business compromises and half-steps, an example of something merely good that the perfect can reasonably be declared an enemy of. It’s a welter of paradoxes: a staunchly anti-union enterprise that embraces some progressive labor practices; a self-styled world-improver that must also deliver quarterly results to Wall Street; a big-box chain putting on small-town airs; an evangelist for healthy eating that sells sausages, ice cream, and beer.