As promised here is our critique of the Board’s updated FAQ’s
“Has the Board retained an executive search firm to identify a new President?
It is a Board’s responsibility, and our intention, to assure that both corporate succession planning and the identification and development of additional executive talent is an integral part of long-term planning. To fulfill this obligation, we have retained an executive search firm to assist in identifying qualified potential candidates from outside the organization. The search firm is not looking for a new President.”
They have finally confessed to hiring Spenser Stuart, the company to which they’ve paid over $300k. First of all they have outright lied to us from the day their website went live. Obviously Spencer Stuart was retained prior to that which is why they billed the Company for over $300 thousand, they never admitted to this until they were confronted with it in black and white. Now they say this firm was NOT hired to replace ATD, who then Bill Marsden, Jim Miamis, Don Mulligan, Joe Rockwell? That’s assuming we believe them and why should we, they have lied to us before. We believe that they ARE trying to replace ATD and are not saying it because of the unrest it would cause. Our culture requires promoting from within, it has always worked. Why do you feel it necessary to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a search firm to look for executives that none of us will follow to anyway. You have underestimated us many times before, do not underestimate the damage this would cause.
“There has been much speculation about Arthur T. Demoulas’ role as President, has the Board made any decisions in this regard?
Arthur T. Demoulas continues to be President of Market Basket, and the Board is not currently looking for a new President. Under the Company’s Bylaws, the role of the President is to manage the general day-to-day operations of the business. His various responsibilities include purchasing, pricing, customer satisfaction and employee training and retention. The Board has no intention of changing or assuming those duties. In the coming year, consistent with our duties, the Board will provide counsel and oversight on various matters, including the implementation of a growth strategy as it is presented to us by Arthur T. Demoulas and the management team, the capital structure of the business, and investment decisions. It is our hope that, together, we can move forward in a more collegial manner that will prove to be beneficial to all of Market Basket’s constituents.”
Arthur T is our president but the BOD wants him to play nice with them. How about you unshackle him and let him lead us. Let him make the decisions that will be right for 25,000 associates and 2 million customers. Let him make the decisions that will grow this company the right way. You again state you are not seeking to replace him and you have no intention of assuming his duties. Then let him run the Company the way he and only he knows how. You can just sit back and reap the rewards of his leadership. We are not a normal Company and we are not a normal work force, be warned that any attempt to remove ATD or any other executive will have consequences.
“Has the Board approved the extra bonus payments requested by management?
On November 25, the Board asked management to provide additional information to support management’s request for “extra special bonuses” (above the nearly $70 million in 2013 bonuses, service bonuses and special bonuses that the Board previously approved to be paid to associates) and for an extra contribution to the Profit Sharing Plan (above the approximately $46 million previously approved by the Board). The Board did not receive what it believed was a substantive response to its request, and therefore concluded that the prior approvals (which already reflected an increased amount of funding of the associates’ bonus pool and an increased funding of the Profit Sharing Plan) would stand without further change. The Board also authorized the full payment of the recommended bonuses for seven of the top nine highest paid members of management. The Board voted to delay the decision on the bonus payment for two of the highest paid management personnel until after the first audit is completed with the newly selected independent auditing firm. This timing is consistent with the historical timing of the decision on and payment of the CEO’s bonus.”
What the board is saying here is that Arthur T. Demoulas and his management team did not make a good argument for the additional monies that he wanted for us. They are BLAMING HIM! They are trying to divide us by essentially stating that had the case been more substantive, they would have voted for the extra money to be given to us. How about you post on your website what good argument you had to pay the 9 shareholders a $300 million dividend. They also are letting us in on the fact that they are withholding bonuses for two of the top executives. It is really none of our business nor is it the business of the public that visits the Boards site to release this kind of information. We notice there was no mention in your letter that you decided the associates were not worthy of the additional $12 million that ATD asked for.
“Will the planned development of store locations in Waltham and Revere proceed? Will other planned store openings still take place?
The Board would like management to proceed with the opening of Attleboro. However, there are issues that still need to be addressed for other projects and resolved by management prior to approval by the Board.”
Merry Christmas to the people of Attleboro and bah humbug to Waltham and Revere! No store, no new jobs, no savings at the grocery store. Again the Board doesn’t like that RMD helped us secure the best deal on these developments, so they are taking their ball and going home. This is reckless spending as is KEKST and Spencer Stuart.
We would like to know how the three independent Board members voted on the additional $12 million bonuses and we would like to hear it from them. We can find out easily enough by asking the “B” shareholders and Directors but we would like to hear from Mr. Cowan, Mr. Weiner and Mr. Gebaide themselves how they voted and why? We ask all stakeholders to email these men and ask them that question, they stated in their letter they want to be a more transparent Board so let this be a first step in your transparency. Tell us please why we don’t deserve or do deserve what our boss asked for. Please copy email@example.com so we can see how many are sent and if you get any responses. Our guess is you will not get a response but let’s email them anyway.