The founder of Whole Foods secretly posted messages on a Yahoo stock investors forum—boosting his own company and damning competitor Wild Oats, the Wall Street Journal reports. Now, as CEO John Mackey tries to buy the company he trash-talked, the posts that ran for eight years have come back to haunt him.
The Federal Trade Commission, which made the posts public, is seeking to block Mackey's buyout of Wild Oats on anti-trust grounds. "Wild Oats has no value and no future," said Mackey in one possibly illegal message under the handle "Rahodeb"—an anagram of his wife's name, Deborah. He offered paens to his own leadership, and forecast that Whole Foods stock, at $39.50 yesterday, would reach $800.