At one point the throng nearly swarmed the vehicle as the CEO reached out to shake hands and wave at his supporters. It was a scene Helen Simpson of Salem, N.H., compared to the legendary Woodstock concert.
“It was just powerful,” said Simpson, a 25-year employee at Market Basket.
“That’s what he is to us — a rock star,” added Jim Close, a Merrimack, N.H., resident and 27-year Market Basket veteran.
One supporter yesterday painted the window of an SUV to read “Arthur T = Integrity.” Others in the crowd targeted Arthur S. Demoulas, with signs that read, “People Before Profits,” and “Artie S = Greed.”
Pat Somma of Andover said he wasn’t surprised at all by the size of the crowd. The deli manager at the Salem, N.H., Market Basket questioned why the board would consider a leadership change when the company continues to experience growth.
“I think it’s a bad move,” said Somma. “The company’s running very well right now.”
Brian McCullough of Lawrence said Arthur T. Demoulas “always makes us feel like we work with him, not for him.”
“I’ve never been in a boardroom before, but I see everything going well now,” said McCullough. “Everybody’s happy and they’re making money so I don’t see why they would change.”
Joe Angelari of Methuen said he started working at Market Basket as a teenager 24 years ago before working his way up to the position of store manager in Ashland.
“We want Arthur T. running the company,” said Angelari. “We’ve grown into what we are because of his values. ... Hopefully we’ve shown him how much we care. Now we can just hope they make the right decision.”