Senior Global Vice President of Purchasing, Distribution, & Communications

Michael Besançon, an entrepreneur and environmental advocate, has spent most of his career in the business of providing natural and organic foods to a population craving a healthier lifestyle. In 1970 he built, owned and operated Follow Your Heart Natural Foods in Canoga Park, CA. At that time it was the largest natural food store on the West Coast. The line of vegan products he developed back then is still sold in natural food stores throughout the nation. In 1990, he established a food brokerage firm, representing vendors throughout the U.S. In 1994, Michael joined Whole Foods Market as director of purchasing in the Southern Pacific region and was promoted to regional vice president two years later.  In 1998, he became president of Whole Foods Market’s Mid Atlantic region and in 2001 president of the Southern Pacific region.  Michael has held the newly created position of Senior Global Vice President of Purchasing, Distribution and Communications since October 2008.  He has chaired Whole Foods Market’s National Green Mission Task Force and helped the company lead the charge for environmentally sustainable practices which range from promoting sustainable agriculture and creating animal welfare standards to store recycling and composting programs. Michael has also been director of the Whole Foods Market’s Animal Compassion Foundation (which became the Global Animal Partnership) and is currently on the board for the Whole Planet Foundation.