Board ousts Market Basket CEO after family dispute
BOSTON (AP) - The Market Basket grocery chain's board removed the company president and two other top executives on Monday after months of infighting.
The board said in a statement that Arthur T. Demoulas "was not re-elected president and will not retain any management responsibilities moving forward." It said vice president Joseph Rockwell and director of operations William Marsden also were removed at its meeting in Boston.
The Lowell Sun reported that the board said Felicia Thornton was named chief operating officer and James Gooch was named chief administrative officer. Thornton and Gooch had been consultants to the company, whose nine shareholders are family members.
"The board believes this new management team will enable Market Basket to maximize its potential and pave the way for continued success in the future," the board's statement said.
Marsden said the action to remove him, Rockwell and Demoulas was "driven by greed" after Demoulas implemented a 4 percent price cut for this year and some board members were concerned that would cut into the company's profit.
The Sun said Demoulas also had criticized the company's board and potential changes to its profit-sharing plan in April.
The Demoulas family has feuded over company management for years. Arthur T. Demoulas' cousin and rival, Arthur S. Demoulas, gained board control last year. Arthur T. Demoulas kept his position then. But Arthur S. Demoulas won a court judgment to distribute $300 million to shareholders, which his cousin had opposed.
The chain began nearly a century ago in Lowell with a store owned by Greek immigrants Arthur and Efrosini Demoulas, whose sons modernized the business and expanded it. The heirs have fought over running the company for more than 20 years.
The Tewksbury-based company has 71 stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and plans to expand to Maine.
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