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Only You Can Stop CEO Internet Addiction!

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For the most part, we stay away from online stock forums. As far as we can tell, the message boards are usually full of yahoos, stock cultists and pump-and-dump scam artists. But, it turns out, there are occasionally more interesting people lurking on the boards—sometimes even the CEOs of public companies.
Late yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported that Whole Foods co-founder and chief executive John Mackey had posted Yahoo Finance message boards under the name Rahodeb, which is his wife Deborah’s name spelled backwards. This morning it’s on the front page of the Journal.
We mentioned this story in the Opening Bell but we can’t let it go. We like Mackey. He seems like a decent guy. We admire his libertarian streak. The Federal Trade Commission ruling against the acquisition of Wild Oats was a travesty of justice. His refusal to back down to the federales has been inspirational. They have like seven different kinds of peppers at the Houston Street Whole Foods Market. You get the point. We predisposed to root for the guy.
But as hard as we try, we can’t understand what could have been going through his mind when he was going on message boards talking down his competitors (and future acquisition targets) and pumping up his own company. The only explanation we’ve been able to muster is this: the internet made him crazy!
It's happened before. As Gary Weiss has shown, some chief executives simply cannot be trusted with the internet. If you are working in the IT department at a public company now, you might want to look into disconnecting your boss's internet connection. It's for his own good.