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.