Whole Foods executives reportedly leaving as Amazon takes over

  • More than a dozen executives and senior managers have left Whole Foods since Amazon acquired it last summer, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing former employees and recruiters helping them look for new jobs.
  • Tensions have grown between Whole Foods and suppliers, forcing Whole Foods to call a summit with suppliers this week.
Apples are displayed at a Whole Foods store in New York City, August 28, 2017.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Apples are displayed at a Whole Foods store in New York City, August 28, 2017.

Whole Foods is losing some executives as the natural grocer integrates with tech giant Amazon, The Wall Street Journal reports.

More than a dozen executives and senior managers have left Whole Foods since Amazon acquired it last summer, WSJ reports, citing former employees and recruiters helping them look for new jobs. Management departures are common when a company is bought, but one former employee told WSJ that "culturally, it's been a rough start."

Whole Foods CEO and co-founder John Mackey and Steve Kessel, an Amazon senior vice president who oversees the grocer, told WSJ in separate statements that Whole Foods has thrived since the acquisition.

"We...have maintained our distinctive culture while embracing many of Amazon's leadership principles," Mackey said in a statement to WSJ.

"We are off to a great start, and look forward to many years of future success together," Kessel said in a statement to WSJ.

News of the $13.7 billion deal shook the grocery industry when it was announced last June. Amazon immediately slashed prices on some popular items when the transaction closed in August. However, the acquisition has not been without challenges.

Tensions have grown between Whole Foods and suppliers, forcing the grocer to call a summit with them this week. One point of contention up for discussion is a new servicing fee, which is part of Whole Foods' efforts to centralize its merchandising, sources told CNBC.

Read the full Wall Street Journal story here