‘I feel like they’re taking over. They’ve taken over. It’s like a war,’ he says. ‘I’m not afraid of it.’ “I don’t want it to happen to me,” he adds. “If it does, I’ll die.”

Mackey has described his economic approach as “conscious capitalism,” or recognizing that there is a deeper purpose beyond profit. “A lot of the liberties that I’ve taken for granted most of my life, I think, are under threat.”

Mackey says he plans to be even more vocal about his political and economic views. He says he has been “muzzled’ after writing a 2009 Wall Street Journal op-ed that criticized the Affordable Care Act. Chief Operating Officer Jason Buechel is slated to replace Mackey as CEO of Whole Foods on Sept. 1.

“It’s like a father, they started attacking the child, and I was intimidated enough to shut up,” he said. “I was telling my leadership team, ‘Pretty soon, you’re going to be hearing about crazy John,’ ”
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