Whole Foods CEO John Mackey: all wrong, or right on?

In general, speechwriters wish their executives would have more chutzpa. That’s not a problem for the executive communication team at Whole Foods, where CEO John Mackey blasts away regularly, most recently inciting a boycott with a Wall Street Journal op/ed piece on health care reform.

The New York Times Opinionator explores the consequences from every angle but ours.

In an e-mail to me, PR guru Fraser Seitel expresses admiration for Mackey’s move: “He believes in the logic of what he is saying and trusts that his constituent shoppers are level headed enough to respect his opinion but perhaps disagree.” But, Seitel adds, “Some of his constituent shoppers are as ‘level headed’ as Mt. Vesuvius.”

Executive communicators, have you ever recommended or helped craft a speech or other piece of communication that had the potential to create an uproar among your customers or another constituency?

Were you glad you did?

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