At a conference last week, Mackey said he couldn't elude the moniker and even compared himself to the magician Harry Houdini, who's best known for his sensational escape performances.
"One reason the merger came about is Whole Foods was in a trap, and I couldn't quite figure how to get out of that trap," Mackey said at SNAC International's Executive Leadership Forum, which Food Business news covered. "We escaped the trap. I feel a little bit like Houdini."
Mackey's comments suggest that Amazon will likely continue to cut prices at Whole Foods. Despite getting steep discounts — by as much as 43 percent– on select products in August, Whole Foods only put a 1.2 percent average price cut on the 114 products tracked by Gordon Haskett analyst Charles Grom one week after the deal closed.
If Amazon does cut prices broadly, it will help attract more more middle- and low-income consumers. That's important for Amazon, which needs to expand Prime memberships beyond higher-income households.
Mackey didn't say much about Amazon's long-term pricing plan for Whole Foods at the event. He compared it to a musician who hasn't finished writing the song, according to the report.
"We're still figuring out what we're going to do," Mackey said.