At the age of 67, Whole Foods CEO, John McKay has built an empire of grocery stores. However, he regrets it at least once: he has no children.
“I just love kids,” McKay told Freakonomics radio host Stephen Dubner in an episode released on November 4.
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How does McKay think he will be as a father.
“I guess it depends on how old I was when I was a kid?” McKay told Dubner. “Because I am much more aware that I was older when I was younger. I am sure if I start at the age of 20 or 21, I will have more energy, but I lacked that knowledge. Joe I got it when I was older. “
McKay had a complicated relationship with his own father, Bill McKay, to be exact. Bill was the president and CEO of LifeMark, a hospital-management company that merged with American Medical International in 1984, and an accounting professor at Rice University. He died in 2004.
“I remember when I was growing up, for example, putting the report card in one go, all the Us and a B, and I was really proud of it. And my father said, ‘You are that B. What are you going to do about it? ’And that was devastating, because I thought he would be proud of me,” McKay told Dabner.
McKay said, “I got hurt at first and then I was angry. It’s like this, I can never make him happy.” “I felt him criticizing mostly.”
Nevertheless, according to Freakonomics, Bill was one of the first investors in Whole Whole Foods. In 1978, McKay raised $ 45,000 from family and friends to open the first store in Austin, Texas. A college dropout, McKay had a passionate natural diet. The single storefront grocery eventually expanded across the country, opening hundreds of retail stores. But in recent years, Whole Foods suffered from competition and expensive prices. In 2017, Amazon swooped in and acquired the struggling chain for $ 13.7 billion, turning artisanal, spicy grocery into a more streamlined and arguably more corporate business as Jeff Bezos’ empire tent.
Despite McKay’s regret about not having children, the CEO says this will not change the course of his life.
“If I can do it again, will I make a different choice? And the answer is no, because I have married the most amazing woman. And she has helped me so much. She has made me so happy. It Very good. Partnership, 30 years together. And so, if I can go back to the past, I won’t change it, “McKay says.
His wife Deborah Morin has been a yoga practitioner and teacher for 25 years, and according to Morin McKay did not want children.
He said, “I will not back down and replace my wife with a woman who wants to have children, because I have really done well on that.”
Still, McKay also has other regrets.
“There are a lot of other things that I regret that if I could go back, I’d change them. For example, if I could go back and never post anything on the Yahoo-bulletin board, Trust me, I will do that! Now he says.
Between 1999 and 2006, McKay posted anonymously in an online chat forum under the pseudonym, Rahodeb, a portrait of “Deborah”. These messages were advocates of Whole Foods and to cast a shadow on Wild Oats, a competitor that Sampoorn Foods later acquired. The messages were revealed in court documents filed by the US Federal Trade Commission.
Another regret McKay referred to was “what I said about the unions,” he told Dabner. “I’ll go back and remove it from history.” In the early 1980s, McKay said, “The union is similar to herpes. It doesn’t kill you, but it’s unpleasant and uncomfortable, and it prevents a lot of people from becoming your lover.”
The fact that Dubey rejected the union’s comment disappointed McKay. “I really don’t like where this interview is going now,” he told Dabner. “I don’t want to defend everything I said 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 40 years ago. Because it’s a very small part of my life. And these are the scars.”
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