AUSTIN, Texas (January 9, 2007). FORTUNE magazine ranked Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI), the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket, number 5 on its 2007 list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” The company made the list for the tenth consecutive year and is one of only 18 companies to be named every year since the list's inception.

  “To be ranked in the top five is a fantastic milestone for Whole Foods Market and a validation that we are honoring our core value of 'Supporting Team Member Excellence and Happiness' by creating an empowering work environment. It is the passion of our dedicated Team Members that has driven the success of Whole Foods Market for the past 26 years. I congratulate and thank our more than 41,500 Team Members who have made this honor possible,” said Whole Foods Market CEO and co-founder John Mackey. Additionally, Whole Foods Market ranks number two out of the 39 large companies on the list. It is one of 11 companies with headquarters in Texas, and it is one of two companies based in Austin. The list and related stories appears in the January 22 issue of FORTUNE, available on newsstands January 15 and at on January 8.

Company employees-referred to as Team Members at Whole Foods Market-played an important role in determining the FORTUNE ranking. Two-thirds of a company's score is based on survey responses from randomly selected employees.

Among the reasons Whole Foods Market was again named to the “Best Companies to Work For” list in 2007 are the company's long-standing executive salary cap and the recent announcement that company CEO John Mackey has reduced his annual salary to $1 and will forgo personal compensation from future stock options, which will instead be granted to the company's two non-profit foundations: the Whole Planet Foundation and the Animal Compassion Foundation.

Whole Foods Market is one of 16 companies on the 2007 FORTUNE list that covers 100 percent of the cost of its employees' health insurance premiums. The company ranked third in job growth and tenth overall in diversity.

FORTUNE Magazine selects the “100 Best Companies to Work For” through an extensive evaluation of company policies and culture and the opinions of the company's own employees. Two-thirds of the total score comes from employee responses to a 57-question survey answered by 400 randomly selected employees. Questions include attitudes toward management, job satisfaction and camaraderie. The remaining one-third of the score is based on an evaluation of each company's demographic makeup, pay and benefits programs, and culture. Companies are scored in five areas: credibility (communication to employees), respect (opportunities and benefits), fairness (compensation, diversity), pride (philanthropy), and camaraderie (celebrations).

Whole Foods Market has earned the following rankings on the same list the past ten years:


  • 2007 — number 5
  • 2006 — number 15
  • 2005 — number 30
  • 2004 — number 47
  • 2003 — number 32
  • 2002 — number 48
  • 2001 — number 41
  • 2000 — number 72
  • 1999 — number 48
  • 1998 — number 34



Every three years, Whole Foods Market Team Members choose their benefits package through a company-wide benefits vote. In 2006 over 80 percent participated in this unique vote process, which was administered in four languages.