Be careful what you say; it might end up on the front page...

Dateline: Thu 12 Jul 2007

Avid reader-of-all-things-interesting Pete Miesel of Colorado sends a fascinating story about the ego-tripping CEO of Whole Foods, who for years has posted anonymously on Yahoo, shamelessly pimping himself and his company while tearing down the competition. And he just got busted:

http://retail.seekingalpha.com/article/40816

Ouch. Or as Seeking Alpha blogger Roger Ehrenberg says, deliberately using all caps because he is so appalled:

"HOW DOES JOHN MACKEY, CEO OF WHOLE FOODS, THINK THAT POSTING RAH RAH MESSAGES ON YAHOO! MESSAGE BOARDS OVER AN 8 YEAR PERIOD IS OK? MESSAGES THAT INCLUDE FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES AND PERSPECTIVES FROM THE CEO OF THE COMPANY, WHO IS NOT PUBLICLY DISCLOSING HIS TRUE IDENTITY AND CERTAINLY NOT DISCLOSING THIS INFORMATION TO ALL INVESTORS AT THE SAME TIME?"

Mackey was busted by the Wall Street Journal. The Yahoo trail only came to light, apparently, because of the efforts of WF to acquire Wild Oats -- a deal Ehrenberg says may now be the least of Mackey's concerns.

Miesel speculates what Ruthie Hayes and the Nora Community Council might say; after all, they fought, valiantly and unsuccessfully, to prevent WF from building in a congested area in the 86th Street corrider.

But the real lesson is courtesy of Ehrenberg, who issues this Internet at the end of his commentary:

"Nothing is truly private and your actions have consequences. Be mindful of what you do and how you do it because, some day, it just might end up on the Front Page of the Wall Street Journal."

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