Ex-Whole Foods CEO: Amazon deal was necessary

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Ex-Whole Foods CEO: Amazon deal was necessary

By Gina Acosta - 01/26/2018

Former Whole Foods Market CEO Walter Robb says the Amazon buyout was the best option for the future of the company.

In a new interview with the Austin-American Statesman, he says Whole Foods "made a significant contribution of the evolution of food in this country and a significant contribution to be able to get to a place where people are talking about the quality of food that they are eating." And its $13.7 billion buyout by Amazon.com Inc., which closed in late 2017, is a way to further that mission with the support of the world's largest online retailer.

"The decision was to support this partnership with Amazon as the best way to move that mission forward in the world. I’m hopeful that the things Whole Foods stands for will continue for many years," he told the Statesman.

Whole Foods had been significantly revamping operations since even before the Amazon takeover, including with new software intended to cut down on food waste.

Robb joined Whole Foods in 1991 as a store manager. He worked his way up the leadership ranks and was named chief operating officer in 2001. His title changed to president in 2004 and he was made co-CEO in 2010, working alongside founder John Mackey.

Read the interview with Robb here.