Executive Leader (Director), Corporate Communications

30 Aug, 2021


Executive Leader (Director), Corporate Communications

Whole Foods
Austin, TX

Job Description

Creates and executes strategic communications and media relations related to crisis communications, policy and reputational management, Public Relations, Government Affairs, Quality Standards, Executive Communications, and corporate social responsibility. Develops and executes proactive PR strategies to create and maintain a positive public image of the company, our brand, and the natural foods industry. Ensures effective integration of global communication to a variety of stakeholders, including consumers, Team Members, media, regulators, and key influencers. Works closely with Marketing and advertising leaders to ensure marketing campaigns align with and further promote the company’s image and goals. Shapes and communicates key messages that effectively convey the value of WFM’s products and services. Ensures the communication materials and methods are consistent in terms of their style, form, and content. Monitors the impact of Consumer Communications, Marketing, and other outreach efforts to identify areas of concern and for improvement. Coaches and advises the company’s leaders in terms of media response and effectiveness.

The Executive Leader/Director of Issues Management and Operational Support Communications leads a team that creates and executes internal and external communications strategies for Whole Foods Market, helping to ensure the protection of the company’s reputation as an industry leading retailer and responsible employer.

Reporting to the Vice President of Communications, this individual is responsible for overseeing internal and external communications campaigns supporting operations and strategic business initiatives, change management, employee relations, and crisis & issues management. They maintain relationships with many stakeholders across various functions and provide guidance and support for a high volume of projects that impact the operations of the company. Additionally, they oversee the company’s rapid response team, providing real-time communications support for stores and facilities, including media relations guidance.

The ideal candidate is an experienced and highly motivated individual with a proven track record of successfully building compelling communications strategies to shape corporate narratives and strengthen corporate reputation – both internally and externally. They must have exceptional writing and communications skills, be able to effectively build consensus with all levels of leadership and have a deep understanding of internal and external landscapes that impact everyday communications decisions.  They must have deep experience managing a wide range of high-pressure crisis scenarios and issues, ranging from employee relations to food safety and be able to provide trusted and strategic guidance at all times.  Passion for the Whole Foods Market brand, mission and core values is a must.


  • Oversees the operations communications team, which includes the rapid response team.
  • Plays a key role in all areas of communications, including:
    • Media relations
    • Issues management
    • Crisis communication
    • Employee engagement
    • Reputational management
    • Corporate responsibility
    • Change management
    • Executive communications
  • Engages with the Merchandising, Operational, Human Resources, Legal and other leaders to synthesize complex information into effective internal and external communications strategies.
  • Provides advice and input to leaders on company initiatives in order to ensure protection of corporate reputation.
  • Oversees a team of communications professionals managing long-term and real-time communications and media relations initiatives.
  • Leverages relationships with influential media representatives to ensure positive placement of the company’s news.
  • Builds and manages systems for working cross functionally with business partners in a wide variety of roles.
  • Participates in the creation of content for the company’s web site, internal communication platform, background documents, Q&As, annual report, press kits, etc.


  • Engages with other leaders to design, maintain, and champion the mission, vision, values, and strategy of the organization.
  • Defines, develops, and implements initiatives to enhance business efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Ensures effective individual / team development within the function, always promoting Team Member growth, happiness and engagement.
  • Develops deep, credible relationships with the senior-level executives, both inside and outside current areas of responsibility.
  • Serves as a trusted advisor, internally and externally, from a Corporate Communications perspective.
  • Engages with the senior-level stakeholders to define, clarify and resolve issues arising through project / messaging design, development, and execution.
  • Able to translate strategic objectives into clear, actionable plans at the global and regional level.
  • Identifies opportunities in current and emerging operational strategies and outcomes.
  • Able to collaborate cross-functionally to ensure the implications inherent in completed analyses are understood and form the basis for sound decision-making.
  • Identifies gaps in strategic understanding, formulates resolution recommendations, then delivers clear and compelling communications.
  • Leads detailed task / project planning, including cost, schedule, and resource requirements.
  • Ensures planning incorporates data and information from customer, supplier, partner, and company perspectives.
  • Demonstrates a clear understanding of WFM’s core business and the customer / market / partner interfaces.
  • Assesses how products, processes, and operating models impact the company’s business and financial performance.
  • Understands how changes in customer expectations, competition, new business, new markets, and evolving strategies impact the company’s competitive position and long-term prospects.
  • Collaborates with task / project stakeholders to identify, evaluate, and resolve emerging and anticipated issues.
  • Leverages data-driven insights to recommend, implement and continuously improve the task / project management and delivery methodology.

Education & Experience:

  • BA/BS degree and 8-10 years’ relevant experience OR equivalent combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Graduate degree preferred.
  • 4-6 years’ leadership experience.

At Whole Foods Market, we provide a fair and equal employment opportunity for all Team Members and candidates regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, marital status, disability, or any other legally protected characteristic. Whole Foods Market hires and promotes individuals solely based on qualifications for the position to be filled and business needs.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2021-08-30