, Newburyport, MA


July 22, 2013

One company whose CEO, employees have each other's backs


But if there were any doubts left whose side the employees were on, they ended on Thursday.

By the hundreds, the employees gathered outside the Wyndham hotel despite 90-degree temperatures. Almost everyone seemed to have a sign: “Arthur T IS Market Basket,” “He Goes, We Go,” “Art Strong.”

When Arthur T. arrived in a chauffeured car about a half hour after the board meeting was to start, he received a hero’s welcome. The crowd cheered and clapped and closed in on either side of the silver Mercury sedan. As the car slowly parted the sea of people, hands stretched out to touch the CEO’s through the open car window.

Workers clearly believe they have a stake in the battle. They say they have been treated very well, with benefits that include a lucrative profit-sharing plan. They worry a new CEO will take some of that away to increase profits.

Customers say they also have a stake. Market Basket really means it when it when it says it offers them “More for Your Dollar.”

By following that principle, while providing friendly customer service, Market Basket has prospered. It is still growing, even as others cut back.

It’s hard not to think the outpouring of support by the people who really matter to any business — the employees and customers — made the directors at least stop and think about what they were doing.

Let’s hope whatever issues linger between the CEO and the board can be resolved and Market Basket will continue to be the asset it has been for the community for decades more.

After all, as one homemade sign asked, “Why Mess with Success?”

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