Whole Foods Market Eliminates Co CEO Structure after announcing Fourth Quarter Earnings

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Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) announced this week that the company is eliminating its Co-CEO Structure, and co-founder John Mackey would be the sole leader of the company. This change came after the announcement of the fourth-quarter earnings of 2016 on Wednesday.

According to the company, after the change, John Mackey will be the sole CEO of Whole Foods, and the co-CEO, Walter Robb will step down from CEO position by the end of the year after sharing CEO duties for six years. Mr. Robb will stay on the board as a senior advisor of the company. In addition, Glenda Flanagan, the CFO of Whole Foods, will retire at the end of 2017 fiscal year, after working 29 years. She will remain as senior adviser, and will help looking for a new CFO.

On Wednesday, the company reported its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2016. According the the report, total sales rose 1.7% to $3.5 billion, which is in line with the estimates of analysts. Profits were $88 million, increasing from $56 million the same period last year. Earnings per share reached $0.28 per share, compared with $0.16 per share for a year earlier. Earnings results was above the previous estimates of $0.24 per share.

However, for the quarter ended September 25, 2016, the company announced its first annual decline in same-store sales since 2009. The same-store sales in the latest quarter dropped 2.5%, which was more than the previous estimates of 2% decrease. In 2009, the company posted 3.1% fall of same-store sales. For the new fiscal year, Whole Foods expected that the total revenue would increase 2.5% to 4.5%, and same-store sales would also be 2% fall.

After the earnings report, shares of Whole Foods was up 3.9% in after-hours trading. Even though Whole Foods faced competitions both from tradition stores and online ordering like Amazon Fresh, the company has positive outlook of the future and believe that its efforts will pay back after using more data to decide which discounts to offer and mail discount flier nationwide.

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