NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

July 20, 2013

Demoulas board moves past CEO fight

ANDOVER — Arthur T. Demoulas remains at the helm of Market Basket.

After a nearly 13-hour meeting at the Wyndham Hotel, the board of directors made no motion to remove him, a move that had been pushed by his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas.

“I am pleased with (the) result. I hope to work constructively with the board going forward,” Arthur T. Demoulas said in a prepared statement. “It is my desire to continue to look out for the best interests of our customers and employees.

“Together, we have built a fine organization and I am extremely proud of you,” he said. “Thanks to everybody for their tremendous outpouring of support.”

For years, the Demoulas family has wrangled over Market Basket, which has grown into a 71-store grocery chain. While the company has its roots in Lowell, it has expanded across Massachusetts and New Hampshire — including to Cape Ann, where the family not only opened a supermarket as one of the anchor stores of the Gloucester Crossing project, but partnered with developer Sam Park to underwrite he entire shopping center project.

Arthur T. Demoulas has served as CEO since 2008. The directors are not expected to meet again until August, according to Harry-Jacques Pierre, a spokesman for Arthur T. Demoulas.

Arthur S. Demoulas and other members on his side of the family allege Arthur T. Demoulas has mismanaged the company and ignored instructions from the board, according to various reports. Yet Market Basket employees left no doubt as to their allegiance, urging shoppers at stores, including Gloucester’s, to sign petitions to keep Arthur T. in place, and taking out full-page ads in local papers including the Times this week to show their support.

Market Basket’s CEO received superstar treatment from hundreds of loyal employees as he arrived in town for the meeting, and the raucous show of support just may have been what saved his job.

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