Introduced by John Mackey, Casey Sheahan, CEO, Patagonia, discusses servant leaders who run a conscious business.
John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, has taken the natural and organic grocer from a single store in Austin, Texas in 1978, to an $11.7 billion Fortune 300 company and a top U.S. supermarket with more than 347 stores and 73,000 Team Members in three countries. In 1981, Austin's worst flood in history almost bankrupted the original store, and community efforts to save it shaped Mackey's leadership philosophy to "do right by your stakeholders and they'll do right by you."
While devoting his entire career to providing shoppers with high quality natural and organic foods, Mackey has also focused on building a more conscious way of doing business. He led the company through 19 acquisitions and took the company public in 1992. The company has the highest stock market valuation of any dedicated U.S. food retailer and plans to grow to 1,000 stores.
For 15 consecutive years, FORTUNE magazine has included Whole Foods Market on its "100 Best Companies to Work For" list. The company was named "America's Healthiest Grocery Store" by Health Magazine, one of the nation's "Top 25 Green Energy Leaders" by Scientific American one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by the Ethisphere Institute. FORTUNE magazine also named Whole Foods Market the Most Admired Food and Drug Store Company in the World in 2012.
Mackey has been the visionary for many successful programs at the core of Whole Foods Market. He created the Whole Planet Foundation in 2005 to help end poverty in developing nations. The foundation has helped more than 200,000 poor entrepreneurs in 50 countries. Thanks to Mackey, Whole Foods Market was the first national grocer to set and implement standards for humane farm animal treatment for the meat products it sells. In 2007, he launched the Local Producer Loan Program to help local farmers and food producers expand their businesses and committed $10 million per year to help grow their businesses through low-interest loans.
Most recently, Mackey has focused on returning to the company's roots around healthy eating and lifestyle choices. A staunch advocate of healthy eating education, he laid the foundation for health and wellness programs for team members and customers.
In 2003, he was named Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Overall Winner for the United States and Bon Appétit magazine's "Tastemaker of the Year". Vanity Fair called him "Best Provider" in its "Best of the Best in 2004," Institutional Investor magazine rated him second on its "Best CEOs in America" list in 2005, and Barron's put him on their "World's Best CEOs" list in 2006. In 2008, he received an honorary Doctorate from Bentley College. And, in 2011, MarketWatch called him CEO of the Year and FORTUNE magazine called him "Businessperson of the Year." In 2012, Esquire magazine named him one of the "Most Inspiring CEOs" and FORTUNE named him one of the "12 Greatest Entrepreneurs of Our Time."
Out of his respect for equity among Team Members, Mackey implemented a salary cap for all executives. He cut his own salary to $1 annually in 2006, and forgoes stock options and bonuses. He continues to work for Whole Foods Market out of a passion to see the business realize the potential for deeper purpose, for the joy of leading a great company, and to answer the call to service he feels in his heart.
Casey Sheahan currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Patagonia, Inc., and Patagonia’s parent company, Lost Arrow Corporation. Patagonia, a designer and distributor of technical outdoor clothing, is widely known for its commitment to product quality and environmental responsibility. As a member of 1% for the Planet, Patagonia pledges to donate a least one percent of it’s annual sales to promote conservation and preservation of the natural environment.
Casey, a long-time outdoor industry veteran, came to Patagonia from his post as President of Kelty, Inc. Prior to his tenure at Kelty, he served as Vice-President of Marketing for Merrell Footwear and was Category Marketing Manager at Nike ACG. In addition to his diverse management background, Casey brings a breadth of skills in the fields of writing, marketing and sales. He has edited for several outdoor-inspired publications including Runner’s World, Marathoner and Nordic World and was editor and publisher of POWDER Magazine in the late 1980s. He is aligned with a number of environmental organizations and served as President of the Conservation Alliance, a non-profit organization of outdoor businesses whose membership dues support grassroots citizen-action groups and their efforts to protect wild and natural areas. He is a co-founder along with his wife, Tara, of the Conscious Global Leadership Institute, whose mission is to “share best inner practices for inspired, heart-centered leadership.”
Casey is a lifelong skier and fly-fishing enthusiast. He has a personal affinity for cycling, paddling and all water-related activities, as well as backpacking, sleeping on the ground and spending time with his family.