Whole Foods Market senior global vice-president of purchasing, distribution and communications Michael Besancon has decided to retire after more than 17 years of service with the natural and organic foods retailer.
"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. "He has been an outstanding leader at Whole Foods, 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 of 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 percent electricity offset of wind renewable energy credits starting in 2006.
He has dedicated 41 years of his career to providing natural and organic foods to those craving a healthier lifestyle. 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.
An entrepreneur and environmental advocate, Besancon currently serves on the board of trustees of the Earth University Foundation. He will continue to reside in California and will dedicate his time to travel as well as pursuing non-profit work, business and consulting projects, and speaking opportunities.