Jun 20, 2017

Whole Foods CEO: it was "love at first sight" with Amazon

AP

Whole Foods' CEO John Mackey held a town hall on Friday with Amazon CEO Jeff Wilke, at which he reassured Whole Foods employees that the $13.7 billion merger was going to be nothing short of "so incredibly wonderful."

  • The partnership was love at first sight, but: "[L]ike an old traditional marriage, where there are all kinds of rules and chaperones, we can't consummate the marriage, until we're actually officially hooked up..."
  • Mackey said that Amazon is "not stupid enough to go change" the brand that Whole Foods has built, but that "over time, there could be other formats that evolve that — that might — wouldn't be branded Whole Foods Market, potentially, wouldn't be our standards."
  • Changes, via Mackey: "[T]hey are more customer-centric than we are. ... I think, sometimes, our company's gone a little bit too much team member focus at the expense of our customers."

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

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SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.