Whole Foods CEO Joins Libertarian Student Group's Board of Advisors

John Mackey is well-known for his conservative political positions.

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John Mackey, the founder and co-CEO of trendy organic supermarket chain Whole Foods, has joined Students for Liberty's board of advisors.

The libertarian student group announced Mackey's new position Thursday. The businessman joins a dozen other notable advisors, including 2012 Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson and UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh.

Mackey is well-known for his conservative political positions. Earlier this year, Mackey said President Barack Obama's 2010 health care reform law was consistent with fascism. "In fascism, the government doesn't own the means of production, but they do control it — and that's what's happening with our health care programs and these reforms," he explained to NPR. Mackey later said using the term fascism was "a bad choice."

Eric Sawyer leads a line of protesters in front of a new Whole Foods Market on its opening day August 27, 2009 in New York City. Whole Food Market's CEO John Mackey has drawn criticism and protest for his views on health care reform, which he voiced in an editorial piece he wrote for The Wall Street Journal. (Rick Gershon/Getty Images)

Mackey has co-authored two books, "Conscious Capitalism" and "Be the Solution" and contributed to the book "The Morality of Capitalism."

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, speaks while surrounded by Whole Foods employees during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Dec. 9, 2008.
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, speaks while surrounded by Whole Foods employees during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Dec. 9, 2008.

Whole Foods operates more than 300 stores nationwide.

"Students For Liberty empowers students all over the world to be entrepreneurial activists on behalf of a free and prosperous society," Mackey said in a statement released by the group. "They've created an impressive and growing community of young people who understand and promote the ethical foundations of capitalism based on the importance of voluntary exchange and cooperation."

Students for Liberty's President Alexander McCobin praised Mackey as "perhaps the leading figure today challenging the negative and erroneous stereotypes often associated with capitalism" in a released statement.

During the 2012 election, Mackey surprised some of his customers by donating $10,000 to the Republican National Committee and making two $2,500 donations to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. He also made two $2,500 donations to Johnson – one as the former New Mexico governor sought the GOP nomination in 2011, and another in July 2012, after he was nominated as the Libertarian candidate.

Watch: Mackey Discusses 'Conscious Capitalism'

 

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