Babson’s Wayward Son

“The world needs new ideas, innovative solutions, and the visionary leaders who can make them happen. These leaders are entrepreneurs, and today’s most successful entrepreneurs are those who pursue both economic and social value—who create not only wealth, but also a wealth of opportunities for others. They can be found in all organizations of all types and sizes.”

The above quote was taken right from the Babson College website and is their strategy for educating their students.  We feel it is safe to say that Ron Weiner has strayed from this strategy as he seems to have little concern for social value and making opportunities for others. Unless they happen to be shareholders.

On July 17, 2013 DSM, Inc,(Market Basket) was the fastest growing retailer in Eastern Massachusetts. Ranked 36 out of 75 retailers in the country (all types of retailers). Ranked 7th out of 52 Supermarket chains according to Consumer Reports, our competition Hannaford (19th), Stop & Shop (41st), Shaws (50th) and Walmart Supercenters (51st) were far behind us. Market Basket has an EBITDA profit of 8.07% when the national average for regional chains is 6%. Since 2008 when ATD became CEO we have increased volume by a third, added 8,000 jobs, opened, remodeled or expanded 30 stores. Market Basket was operating debt free with a cash reserve of $500 million and able to make quick decisions on business and real estate transactions and donated $44 million over 10 years to local charities within the communities we served.

On July 18, 2013, Ronald G. Weiner, Babson Alum and Chairman of Babson Global, drove in to the Wyndham Hotel in Andover past thousands of concerned and supportive associates, customers and stakeholders sitting in the passenger seat of “A” director Arthur S Demoulas’s land rover, fully prepared to vote on the fate of our CEO Arthur T Demoulas at his very first Board meeting. Ron Weiner had been appointed as an “A/B” director just a month before, according to court order the A/B directors should be “independent and indifferent”. The fact that Ron Weiner drove in with an “A” director is disturbing. In fact at a September Board meeting Ron Weiner was NOT affirmed as independent by his own peers on the Board.  This peaceful and one sided protest was not for better wages, better working conditions or healthcare, thousands protested to keep their beloved CEO and business model intact. Babson and every other great business school should be teaching the Market Basket business model to their students.

Since that time the Board with Babson alum chums Arthur S Demoulas and Ronald Weiner have begun a systematic destruction of a great American company right in Babson’s backyard. To date these are the actions of the Board.

Voted a $300 million dividend payout to 9 shareholders.

Stopped construction of two stores and left another two completely built but unopened.

Taken day to day decision making away from CEO Arthur T Demoulas.

Launched www.dsmboardinfo.com, a one way communication from the Board to anyone with a computer and internet access.

Outright lied about hiring Spencer Stuart, an executive search firm (managed by another Babson alum), the Board claims that they have not retained Spencer Stuart yet the company was billed in excess of $300 thousand by Spencer Stuart.

Hired an out of town PR firm KEKST from New York, their task to make the Board look better to stakeholders.

Bogged down company decision making in committees, essentially taking away our advantage in the market area.

After the November 25th Board meeting they used their informational website to launch an editorial rant against company management. Is this what Babson teaches business students? When have you ever heard of a Board of directors publicly dressing down its own company management?

Used the same website to announce company profits were down without any proof and contrary to the actual facts.  Essentially using the website to build a transparent case to fire CEO Arthur T Demoulas.

Fired two long time and uncompensated profit sharing trustees without cause and replaced them with Babson alum Ron Weiner.

Fired Sullivan and Bille as company auditors after a 60 year relationship without cause.

Ron Weiner, when approached politely on his way into a Board meeting by a dozen well dressed and respectful associates in September, responded “you can ask any question you want, I will not answer any of them”

December 17, 2013, five months later we are a company in turmoil, expansion halted, brand new yet empty stores with the doors locked. Thousands of potential jobs on hold.  Stakeholders, all 2 million plus of them, wondering what will happen next.  Will prices rise as the Board wants?  Will associates’ compensation and benefits be slashed?  Will ATD remain at the helm as we all want? One thing is certain, we will not stop fighting for our boss and our business model.  We built this company, there will not be a Market Basket without the people because of our loyalty, our dedication and our culture. All of this turmoil because of greed, hate and vengeance on Arthur S Demoulas’ side and the fact that he has aligned himself with fellow alumni from Babson College, this doesn’t make Babson look too good and there are thousands of people that see these blogs everyday.

Is Ron Weiner the type of alumnus that Babson College is proud of producing?  Apparently, because Ron Weiner is also the Chairman of Babson Global and Trustee Emeritus.  Babson College is one of the most respected business schools in the country yet Ron Weiner is a product of Babson’s education as is Arthur S Demoulas.  One would think that Ron Weiner would be a little more careful about throwing his Babson education around especially given the part he is playing in the Market Basket takeover.  One would think Babson College would be a little more critical when one of their alumni and Chairman of Babson Global is part of the destruction of a great company, especially one that is in Babson’s back yard.  Our 25,000 associates are proud to say they are associated with Market Basket and would not do anything intentional to harm Market Basket’s image.

We invite anyone, especially those from Babson to visit www.wearemarketbasket.com and view the posts, the media links about this story including editorials from the Boston Globe and Lowell Sun.  We have nothing to hide and we are an interactive website, we do not lie to those that use our site.  We encourage everyone with a stake in this fight, associates, vendors and over 2 million customers every week to email Babson with your thoughts on their alumni.

khealey@babson.edu  sansari@babson.edu  dhanno@babson.edu  eeisenman@babson.edu  hackerc@babson.edu  jedmonds@babson.edu  rckimball@babson.edu  rose@babson.edu

Comments

  1. Cindy whelan says:

    So, I have my night cut out for me… But that’s ok, a long time ago I have committed myself to this battle that is OURS, and I will not stop until justice is righted. ATD back in full control of this amazing company, making ALL the decisions that have proven him to be the one and only leader of our company… And if you can’t support him, his side of the family, and our family, then resign your position… I may have read that some where…

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