Market Basket wants Artie T. back, but not as CEO

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Nearly empty parking lot at Manchester Market Basket.
Nearly empty parking lot at Manchester Market Basket.

It’s hard to see how this is going to end.

According to the Lowell Sun, a statement was issued late Friday by the Independent Directors of Demoulas Board of Directors which reads as follows:

“Our associates and suppliers are committed to meeting the needs of our customers. We all take great pride in the work we do. Our goal is to move forward, while making sure associates and customers are taken care of.

Any delay to reaching agreement on this path forward simply harms associates, customers and the Company. It is time to move on.

Since last Saturday, the Independent Directors have worked around-the-clock trying to find a path forward that might constructively resolve both the transaction-related discussions, and simultaneously and separately, begin to address the tangible harm that has been visited on so many by so few.

Several days ago, as part of a continuing attempt to allow people to get back to their jobs and lives, the Independent Directors of the Board transmitted to Mr. Demoulas’ legal representatives a detailed agreement that would allow him and his entire former management team, including all individuals who resigned or were dismissed, to assist the Company’s return to normal business operations and people to get back to their jobs and lives. That agreement would not place Mr. Demoulas in control of the Company during this interim period, but would instead retain the current management.

Mr. Demoulas has yet to respond to that proposal, or any other that would separately resolve the situation in the interim, while he and his shareholder group continue pursuing the purchase of the remaining shareholders’ interests in the Company.

There is no reason to not meet in the middle.

Mr. Demoulas gets his management team back in place, associates can get back to doing their job, customers can get back to shopping and the company gets the breathing room needed to create an orderly and productive way forward.

Furthermore, the Independent Directors welcome the opportunity to meet with Governor Patrick and Governor Hassan and gain their assistance and support at stabilizing the business for the benefit of all associates, customers, vendors and communities.”

Later Friday, a response was issued on behalf of Arthur T. Demoulas, according to NECN:

“Five weeks ago these Board members voted to fire Arthur T. Demoulas and banned him from company property. Since that time, the company has spiraled downward and Arthur T. has worked feverishly to purchase the company. On three separate occasions since that time, including as recently as yesterday, Arthur T. has offered in writing and otherwise to try to bring back his entire management team to work to stabilize the company. Each offer was rejected. It is disingenuous to issue a press release at 5:30 on a Friday, from the “Independent Directors” all of whom were appointed by Arthur S. Demoulas’ side of the family, announcing that they have invited him to rejoin the company but not as CEO. This is an attempt to have him stabilize the company, while they consider selling it to another bidder. This is far too serious a situation for these games and attempts at window dressing. It is a serious issue that deserves a serious solution. Market Basket’s Associates, customers, vendors and communities deserve better than that. Arthur T. Demoulas has provided a serious proposal which should be accepted.’’

 

About Carol Robidoux 5597 Articles

Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.