SEC Probes Yahoo Posts of Whole Foods CEO

SEC probes executive's posts on Yahoo! Finance message board
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2007 3:59 PM CDT
SEC Probes Yahoo Posts of Whole Foods CEO
A Whole Foods Market is shown in Portland, Maine, in this Feb. 7, 2007 file photo. Whole Foods Market Inc. is expected to release quarterly earnings on Wednesday, May 9, 2007. (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach, file)   (Associated Press)

John Mackey, the Whole Foods CEO who posted attacks on a competitor in Yahoo financial forums, is under scrutiny by the SEC for his anonymous mischief-making. The federal agency is informally investigating whether the posts violate "fair disclosure" rules. They could be a problem for Mackey if officials find that he was deliberately trying to manipulate Whole Foods stock.

Mackey had been posting rosy assessments of his own company's  performance over a seven-year period while disparaging Wild Oats Markets, using the moniker 'rahodeb,' an anagram for Deborah, his wife's name. The FTC has objected to a proposed Whole Foods buyout of Wild Oats on anti-trust grounds. (More organic food stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.