In this segment fromMotley Fool Money, Chris HillandRon Grossdiscuss the big changes atWhole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM). A flurry of new independent directors have been added to the board, so reading the tea leaves, do these drastic changes indicate where the company might be heading?
A full transcript follows the video.
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This video was recorded on May 12, 2017.
Chris Hill: Whole Foodssecond-quarter results weren'tnearly as interesting as the company's shake up in the boardroom.Whole Foods announced five independent directors, and thatprivate equity executiveGabrielle Sulzberger will become the newchairman of the board. CEO John Mackey is on our board here at the Motley Fool. Ron,I'm not saying Whole Foods couldn't benefit from some fresh thinking, butI wasn't expecting this.
Ron Gross: They were underattack by Jana Partners.Barry Rosenstein over there,activist investor,pretty good guy, actually and a good investor. They took this move to combat that. So I wasn't that surprised. They put some good guys,PaneraCEO, on the board. I thinkit was necessary. Thebusiness is just not doing well. Seven consecutivequarters of negative comps.I do like the move to that smaller 365 concept, but there's only four of them. They'rehopeful, and we'll see how the rollout goes. New bloodon the board is great. Jana is saying we could have used some grocery experience, however. That they did not get.
Hill: You got Ron Shaich, who just took Panera private. You have a private equitychairman of the board now. Do you think thisincreases the likelihood that Whole Foods is going to put itself up for salein the next year or so?
Gross: I think, also, the founder ofMorningstaris on the board. They'll helpfacilitate offers andlook around out there. I don't think we'llsee that anytime soon. I think they'll stayindependent.
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, is a member of The Motley Fools board of directors.Chris Hill owns shares of Whole Foods Market. Ron Gross owns shares of Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool owns shares of Panera Bread. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.