Whole Foods Market locks stable door after horse bolts (and woofski!)

It's IT Blogwatch: in which Mr. Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods Market, gets new guidelines about blogging and posting, mmmkay? Not to mention Soviet dogs of the 50s...

Heather Havenstein has this report:

After its CEO got caught bashing competitors and talking up his company's stock in anonymous Internet forum posts, Whole Foods Market Inc. late last week changed its corporate conduct policy to ban company leaders from posting anything online about the company. John Mackey, chairman and CEO of Whole Foods, came under fire in July after eight years of anonymous posts ... Mackey said in July that he posted anonymously because it was "fun" and that he never intended any of the postings to be associated with him. [more]
Terrence Russell has a deep throat:
According to a source close to the matter, company executives can no longer post on blogs, message boards, or chat rooms about company matters -- anonymous or otherwise. This news comes at the end of a bumpy year for the grocery giant, as Mackey's in cognito message board romps went public while the company attempted to buy competitor Wild Oats Markets. The deal has since been completed, but in terms of the Mackey's online conduct, the company felt it necessary to draw a very obvious line in the sand. [more]
Mike Masnick mocks:
It doesn't look like he did anything illegal, but it was certainly questionable from an ethical standpoint ... the board felt the need to basically put what should be common sense into its code of conduct. Of course, the easy retort is that it clearly wasn't common sense to the CEO who engaged in it. [more]
Doug Caverly calls the CEO a "strange man":
An important detail: [the original] story broke about four months ago. So the board of directors at Whole Foods isn’t exactly quick on its feet, but at least it reached a reasonable conclusion ... One can’t help but wonder if other companies will enact similar policies; the embarrassing situation created by Mackey is something that no one will want to repeat.  And this development seems to fit with a report indicating that roughly half of businesses with a certain type of filtering software block MySpace or Facebook.. [more]
Chris Lynn has a suggestion:
Whole Foods could have taken different steps ... First off, have Mr Mackey write a personal apology on the corporate blog in a post that outlines Whole Foods commitment to ethics. He already has a blog. The last post is from July 18 saying that, due to investigation, the blog is on hold ... not pretty ... transparency is important with food ... Banning your top execs from online sites is a bold step–but a step towards silence and stifling. Take a big leap and open up your corporate side. It will increase trust in the whole business. [more]
According to Michael Krigsman, the game has changed:
From this point forward, the whole notion of IT governance, including how we define IT failure, has become more complex. In the past, IT failure analysis primarily dealt with relatively straightforward concepts such as completing projects on time and within budget. Now, IT governance needs to consider far more difficult issues, such as overseeing users who deliberately remove themselves from the yoke of IT control. Not an easy task to accomplish. [more]
Zac Bissonnette looks for other perps:
It's kind of bizarre that Whole Foods even had to add this to its code of ethics, and it seems unlikely that this kind of thing will ever happen again at any normal company. Of course, it happens every day over at Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK), where Director of Communications Judd Bagley routinely attacks critics on Yahoo! message boards and Wikipedia ... Overstock directors: Where are you? [more]
And finally...

Buffer overflow:

Other Computerworld bloggers:

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 20 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You too can pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email: blogwatch@richi.co.uk.

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