Market Basket employees demanded yesterday that the company's board of directors reinstate Arthur T. Demoulas as president and CEO only two weeks after the board removed him from that position.
Around 75 Market Basket corporate employees gathered at the company's Tewksbury headquarters to inform chief operating officer Felicia Thornton and chief administrative officer James Gooch they would no longer be communicating with the newly appointed senior management.
Thornton and Gooch were elected to their positions on June 23, the same day Demoulas was removed as CEO along with two other top executives — Director of Operations Bill Marsden and Vice President of Grocery Joe Rockwell.
Supervisor of Operations for Market Basket Joe Schmidt said the uncertainty employees have experienced since the firing of Arthur T. Demoulas led to the ultimatum delivered yesterday.
"There have been questions in the last two weeks regarding costs, benefits to employees and obviously the loss of senior management," Schmidt said. "In the best interest of customers, a mandate was provided to the board to reinstate Arthur T. Demoulas as CEO."
Schmidt said employees have not received a response from the board, but expect to soon. Calls for comment to the Market Basket board of directors were not returned.
"It's evident the current direction of the company has caused great concern among customers and employees," Schmidt said. "The co-CEOs have been told employees at our corporate office will no longer be in communication with them until Arthur T. Demoulas is reinstated."
The Demoulas family has feuded over management of the company for more than 20 years, with Arthur T. Demoulas' cousin and chief rival, Arthur S. Demoulas, gaining board control last year.
While Arthur T. Demoulas kept his position then, Arthur S. Demoulas won a court judgment to distribute $300 million to shareholders, which Arthur T. Demoulas opposed.