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Whole Foods senior purchasing exec to retire

AUSTIN, Texas — Michael Besancon, senior global VP purchasing, distribution and communications for Whole Foods Market, will retire from the company after more than 17 years of service.

"Having worked in our line of business from soup to nuts, Michael is absolutely one of the most knowledgeable natural and organic foods pioneers," said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. "He has been an outstanding leader at Whole Foods Market, and has earned well-deserved respect throughout our company and the industry. We will truly miss his wisdom and compassion."

At Whole Foods Market, Besancon served as regional VP purchasing and as regional president the company's Southern Pacific region and as regional president for the Mid-Atlantic region. He led the company's Green Mission task force, guiding the purchase of an unprecedented 100% electricity offset of wind renewable energy credits starting in 2006.

Prior to joining Whole Foods Market, Besancon was the co-owner of Follow Your Heart, a natural grocery store in Los Angeles and was VP at Nature's Best Distributors.

"It's been an honor to be part of the Whole Foods family for all of these years growing from 30 stores when I started in 1994 to more than 300 today," said Besancon. "I'm proud to have worked with so many dedicated, passionate leaders and team members who bring the very best natural and organic products to the marketplace while believing in the greater purpose of making the world a better place through their work. I'm thankful for the amazing journey."

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