When good companies go bad: The chief executive of Whole Foods Market posted messages on a Yahoo chat forum under an alias for years, talking up his own company while predicting a bleak future for Wild Oats Markets, the rival it has since sought to acquire. Company CEO John Mackey posted messages on a Yahoo financial forum under the user name “rahodeb,” which is an alteration of his wife’s name, “Deborah.” The postings come across as mean-spirited which is at total odds with Mackey’s reputation as a spiritual businessman who has created one of the fastest-growing companies and a perennial “top place to work.” Not sure what he was thinking. Remember: every chance to interact with a customer is an opportunity to reinforce your brand. He blew it with this. (All the more so given how tech-savvy his customers likely are!)

CEO panned rival in anonymous Web postings