Posts Tagged ‘loyalty’


Rare twist: Employees loyal to ousted CEO protest and boycott

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

A grocery store chain, DeMoulas Market Basket, started in 1916 in Lowell, Massachusetts by two Greek immigrants is at the center of a rare remarkable demonstration of employee and customer loyalty.

The original Market Basket founders sold their store to two sons, brothers Mike and George, in 1954. When George died, a blood feud began, claiming (and a 1994 court agreeing) that Mike had cheated George and his family out of $500 million. George’s son, Arthur S. Demoulas, still became Boston’s 8th wealthiest person.

Arthur T. Demoulas, Mike’s son and the cousin of Arthur S., was named CEO in 2008 by the Market Basket Board of Directors controlled by Arthur S. (History from the Demoulas corporate website. More history from a Boston Globe video.)

The the all male board, led by Arthur S. attempted to fire Arthur T. in 2013, and eventually did fire him on June 23, 2014. Two other executives were fired and six quit.

As CEO, Arthur T. was committed to the firm’s 25,000 employees like few American CEOs. Said the Boston Globe about him:

It’s easy to see why the employees love Arthur T., who has been generous to them to a degree that drives his relatives crazy. One of the acts that drew their ire was replacing $46 million that their profit-sharing plan lost in the market during the 2008 financial meltdown. Arthur T. thought it was money the employees were entitled to. His cousins argued, not unreasonably, that investments sometimes go sour.

The Market Basket melodrama exploded outside the board room when loyal employees and customers took to the streets to protest and to gather signatures on petitions to re-instate Arthur T.

Here’s the account from WMUR-TV:

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A modest proposal: Pay to Quit for workplace bullies

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Zappos, the little retailer that grew to be acquired by Amazon.com in 2009, has grown immensely under CEO Tony Hsieh, splitting into 10 separate companies. The company is a financial success. Additionally, its fame rests on a quirky corporate culture in its humane approach to employees. See these unique core values.

One unique Zappos practice was to offer employees $1,000 to quit on their 90-day anniversary of joining the company. Tim Sackett, an irreverent HR writer who understands the best and worst of HR, astutely pointed out that few corporations are bold enough to make such an offer for fear the good talent will walk. No guts in the HR dept. or confidence in the perceived quality of the workplace culture makes chickens of C-suite dwellers was his point.

Five years after the acquisition, Amazon will adopt the Zappos practice of offering Pay to Quit.

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