Whole Foods Sends Two Prominent Execs Packing After Disastrous Year

Whole Foods (WFM) will now be controlled by its birth father John Mackey. 

The struggling organic grocer said long-time co-CEO Walter Robb will leave his position by Dec. 31. Robb has been co-CEO with Whole Foods founder John Mackey for the past six years. He will remain on Whole Foods' board and serve as a senior adviser to the company. Meanwhile, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Glenda Flanagan plans to retire from the role after 29 years at the end of Whole Foods upcoming fiscal year in September 2017. 

The prominent exec departures come after Whole Foods announced yet another disastrous quarter amid greater competition in the organic food retailing space. Whole Foods reported fourth-quarter earnings of 28 cents a share, surpassing forecasts for 24 cents a share. Same-store sales fell 2.6%, compared to Wall Street's forecasts for a 2.1% drop. The company said earnings for its new fiscal year would be about $1.42 a share, down from $1.55 a share in just finished reporting period. Same-store sales are seen unchanged to down as much as 2%.

Shares of Whole Foods spiked about 4% in after-hours trading on the news. But, the results suggest Mackey has his work cut out for him in restoring investor confidence.

1. Same-store sales are still plunging.

Whole Foods said same-store sales declined 2.6% in the quarter even as it ratcheted up promotions in produce, meat and dairy to be more competitive with its new rivals. The result worsened from the first three weeks of the quarter when Whole Foods said its sales were down about 2.4%.

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