This is Arthur T. DeMoulas, NOT to be confused with Arthur S. DeMoulas though any confusion would be understandable based on the similarity of the names. The difference lies in the fact that Arthur T. is beloved by his hundreds of employees, past and present. Until just this past week he was the CEO of Market Basket, a large chain of stores in New England that started with just one store in Lowell, MA in the early 1950s. Arthur T. and Arthur S. are grandsons of the original owner, and have been locked in battle for years and years. Arthur T’s firing by Arhtur S’s board has created a firestorm that has seen employees turning out in droves at the company headquarters and customers boycotting the stores. The support for this boss is something rarely seen. The greed of the board is all too common. Any regular shopper at Market Basket will see the same faces for years, moving from cashier on up into management positions. How many workplaces see employees stay for 30, 40 or more years? Obviously, Arthur T. and his Grandfather have been doing something right.
The outcome remains to be seen, Arthur T has offered to buy out the other half of the family and keep Market Basket the institution it is. This would include the rehiring of managers fired for speaking out at rallies, profit sharing and Sunday time and the many other good business practices that place the employees, community and business ethics above more money in already full stockholder pockets. So often there is little that the public can do to try and effect change, and maybe this won’t work, but people came together over it and sent a strong message to the board. It would be a shame to see 71 stores be destroyed. No doubt this will be taught in business courses, the top 10 things not to do to alienate your customers and how not to kill the goose that has laid golden eggs for decades.