Online slander lands company head in trouble

Published: Monday 30 November -0001

-- (Credit: SHYAMAL)John Mackey, head of us organic foods group Whole Foods Market, is being investigated for posting messages on the Internet about a rival company. He used a pseudonym to make comments about Wild Oats, a firm Whole Foods is hoping to buy in a us $565 million deal.

Finance watchdogs are now investigating the posts, while Whole Foods itself has begun an independent inquiry. Mackey has apologised for his "error" in the wake of the news. Mackey--who helped set up the Texas-based company in 1980--admitted he was the person behind the postings on Yahoo's financial message board between 1999 and 2006. While some of his posts--made under the name 'Rahodeb'--praised the company, others claimed it was overvalued and poorly run.The identity of 'Rahodeb' emerged in mid-July this year when the online notes were handed to the us Federal Trades Commission as part of a government examination of the Wild Oats takeover.

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