A fight that has gone on for decades over of one of Massachusetts’ largest chain of grocery stores on Monday took a huge turn when Arthur T. Demoulas, the President of Market and two other high-up executives were ousted. The board of directors, who is controlled by the chief rival of Demoulas – his cousin, ousted the three.
This was the latest episode in a soap opera played out in real life between two feuding family members of a grocery chain owned by the family for over 20 years.
There has been board meetings filled with epithet, several court appearances and fisticuffs between the two cousins.
Of recent, Demoulas was fending off attacks by relatives who said he had ignored the board by spending money irresponsibly. He said that they just wanted the company to hand out larger dividends at the customers and employees expense.
William Marsden, the Market Basket director of operations who was ousted with Demoulas, called the action by the board simply done by greed.
Marsden said their crime was the commitment Demoulas, the employees and customers to honor the commitment of Market Basket to always have high value and high quality.
Despite the dramatic happening regularly, the chain has done well. The chain known formally as Demoulas Super Markets now consists of 71 stores employing nearly 25,000 people in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
Revenue was reported to be $4.6 billion for 2013 and was ranked as the 127th largest private business in the U.S.
The ouster on Monday was the culmination of the latest round of fighting between Demoulas and his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas, who took control of the board in 2013.
The two are sons of two brothers: Telemachus Demoulas is the father of Arthur T, while George Demoulas is the father of Arthur S.
Both cousins are in their 50s and named for their grandfather, who was the founder of the business back Lowell almost a century ago.
Besides Marsden and Demoulas, the board fired Joseph Rockwell a vice president.
In a prepared statement, the board announced said that Demoulas was not elected by the board to be president and would not retain any of the business’ management responsibilities going forward.
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