Whole Foods: How Radical CEO Created Grocery Empire

John Mackey doesn?t believe in man-made global warming and takes a $1 annual salary.
3:00 | 02/07/13

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Transcript for Whole Foods: How Radical CEO Created Grocery Empire
It's the grosser of the 21 century that change that decides to store placement. By the density of college graduates within a sixteen minute drive but fans and -- -- whole foods. Might be surprised by the man who built the grocery empire. -- -- a little health food store and a radical idea. Here's my co anchor bill where. If you have never been inside a whole foods never understood the cult like devotion of its customers who we should probably start with the colors. Place just looks delicious if you squint the -- department resembles an edible Monet. And this is not an accident in fact the whole foods a static -- long before they put -- sign over a perfect stack of rainbow chard. You run -- him -- moment. Are not me. Starts out here in the dirt you know report specifically -- -- whole foods you have to look at the better code. Absolutely beautiful to degrade their stores -- Bobby is a whole foods field and quality inspector. Smoke grave -- stone the courtroom -- Harvey is a whole foods for merger closely. They -- kinda like Major League scouts but instead a driving a random all fields looking for pitchers. They hit farm fields and farmers markets in search of the -- -- -- -- -- a nice Peruvian chocolate passion mills filed party -- -- monologues in drives hundreds of miles per week. -- assessment on Iran and today he's looking her up and coming bagel artisans. More socially responsible -- makers who've gone organic food water. -- in the air pollution. This -- -- chemical follow him around for a minute you'll see that cost is a lot less important than ideals like fair trade. No preservatives and humanely treated livestock. Values which attract the kind of person willing to pay eight bucks a pound for granola. But here's -- interest in part while there may be a lot of so called liberal elites probably reading the labels -- whole foods. They will have a tough time labeling the man who created whole foods. John MacKey on an individual from hourly conformist. Which -- people -- attic he sometimes does it you know. Quite live up to their stereotypes for example he spent some of his long haired youth living in a vegetarian co op. But now calls Obama care fascism. He is a health conscious -- who has no problem selling pork sausage or genetically modified foods. And while his stores and for a low carbon -- and sell only sustainable fish. He doesn't believe in man made global warming. I don't think we necessarily know that's been caused by. Man. Human cost. Industrialization of carbon dioxide I'm not a climate scientists on my -- expert on just fairly well read guy. Who reads both sides have been issued ahead -- local companies says that it really I don't believe in manmade climate change it's not news the -- a whole foods. It's -- that people I've read for five books on global warming I -- the average person -- their opinion after reading how many books. I think zero. Now before conservatives start to -- you should know that -- takes one dollar a year in salary as a statements on income inequality. He equates modern hamburger production with the evils of slavery and denying women the right to vote. I think people will look back. A hundred years from now pour on how we treated livestock animals because people not conscious of it we just want to have cheap -- Swearing off -- is a big part of -- story he fell in love with fresh produce living in that -- law. Borrow some money and as they did did grocery giant Safeway. Opened a safer way a health food store in Austin, Texas. 32 years and 345. Stores later whole foods is still smaller than safe way. But almost three times more valuable as a company sometime this kind of a balancing now. -- -- having a small army of -- and -- is the source quality over quantity can bring bigger profits but is also driven smaller competitors out of business and earned the snow working nickname from cost conscious shoppers. Whole paycheck. -- -- We've done studies that show. You can eat to help -- -- in the world and not spend more than. -- for five dollars a -- for first when I say the phrase whole paycheck. -- goes through your mind put it back in your mouth. I'm so this man. That's old news that's on the is that -- -- -- where we are right now is it was -- few years ago it was true though it is a catchy term. Walter Robb was named Mac he's co CEO -- few years ago which around here doesn't come with a lot of financial perks. They offered Unicode CEO job -- raised and try to get two dollars a year. All of the employees -- whole foods know exactly what everyone else makes and no one can make more than nineteen times the average salary of around eighteen bucks an hour that other fortune 500 companies the CEO makes around 320. Five times more you talk about that the sense of camaraderie of the -- work from there. I was reading that that your employees at the store in Madison Wisconsin was it wanted to unionize. What happened that. What happened is we let them down that I was there. We went there. -- fall apart the team members lost faith in that we -- what we -- Rob says those employees eventually changed their mind but the decade old episodes still stands as a wake up call on the road to conscious capitalism in his new book MacKey preaches -- the best companies are those that treat employees and customers and suppliers and neighbors. All as equal stakeholders. Happy team members results and happy customers results and -- investors that sounds like just being nice to people. You can boil it down -- -- -- the golden rule is three is a lot of follow the golden rule and -- Business should be based on a principles like the golden rule the F riots. Couscous got all these different kinds of bees pretty radical for a free market libertarian -- -- or whatever he.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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