Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey admits that he had many clashes with Amazon over the past year and isn’t afraid of being fired by the e-commerce giant, which acquired the grocery chain last August.
The comments were reported by Business Insider, which obtained a leaked audio recording of the executive at an internal company-wide meeting on Tuesday.
"I'm sure that Amazon has probably gotten more disagreement from me than any other single person, and possibly more than everyone else combined," Mackey is heard saying on the recording, adding that he doesn’t mind causing the backlash either because he has the “least amount to lose.”
“I have done this for 40 years, I am financially secure, I love Whole Foods,” he says. "I ultimately am not afraid to get fired so — not that I think they are going to fire me — but I'm not afraid of it, so that gives me a position of strength to speak truth to power when it's necessary to do so, and I've done it many, many times."
Mackey also reportedly tells employees that his battles are working because Amazon has listened to him and “backed off” on certain things.
And to top it off, sales for the grocery chain have been better than ever under Amazon’s umbrella, he adds.
"It's been an incredible year. Our increase in sales has been far greater than I anticipated and it's continuing."
However Mackey, who co-founded the healthy grocer in 1980, says changes will keep happening and encourages his employees to think of the merger between the two like a “good marriage”: Both parties will ultimately need to change over time.
A spokesperson for Whole Foods did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for a statement regarding the comments.