Whole Foods Market co-founder and chief executive John Mackey has announced his resignation after 40 years with the company.
Mackey will step down from his role in September next year, with current chief operating officer Jason Buechel taking the helm from then.
In a letter to employees, Mackey revealed he was “ready to pursue some of my other life passions” after 43 years at the helm of the retailer.
“I’ve decided that it’s time to begin to transition my role as CEO to the next generation of leadership.”
He added: “Jason is a true servant, leader and champion of Whole Foods’ culture and values, and he will lead the company into the future.
“Jason was my personal choice to replace me as the CEO and I’m pleased Amazon leadership agreed that he is the right person for the role.”
Buechel joined Whole Foods in 2013 as global vice president and chief information officer.
He was then promoted to executive vice president before becoming chief operating officer role in 2019.
Mackey concluded: “It’s very hard to retire from a company that I have helped to create, nourish and grow.”
“I’ll continue to work closely with Jason and the e-team to gradually transition my responsibilities and I intend to devote much of my final year to the thing I love doing most at Whole Foods – visiting stores and connecting with as many of our amazing team members as I possibly can.”
Whole Foods now operates in 500 locations across the US, the UK and Canada.