“Well respected by all, Fred Whitton is usually soft spoken but his words here on this post speak volumes. Thank you Fred.”
My name is Fred Whitton and I have been a Market Basket associate for 42 years, 21 as a store director. After reading the letters of my fellow associates I find my situation to be very similar if not identical to theirs. For this reason I will not chronicle my career path as it would be redundant of what has already been written.
My purpose for writing this letter is to address the 3 independent members of our board of directors. Firstly let me state that I am sure that you are extremely intelligent, business savvy and decent men, otherwise you would not hold the positions that you have. I do not know you, have never met you and if you were standing in front of me I would not recognize you. For this reason it would be very unfair of me to make any assumptions other than the ones stated above. There has been speculation that you may have an agenda that strongly favors one shareholder and strongly disfavors another. Honestly I am not sure if this is true or not however some of the decisions that have been made over the last few months certainly lend credence to this belief.
I write this letter with a request of you. A very simple request. That request would be to please, do the right thing. Do the right thing for our company, one of the most successful companies in the country. Our success speaks for itself, as the business model that we employ has been taught in business classes at many colleges. Our company is well respected throughout the industry as well as in the public eye. To attempt to change this would be a grave mistake. Do the right thing for our C.E.O., Arthur T. DeMoulas, who along with his father, Mr. T.A.DeMoulas, is the number one reason that our company is where it is today. There has been some criticism aimed at Arthur over the last few months, but I am here to tell you, as a 42 year associate, there is not a more honorable, dedicated, hard working, compassionate man than he. He is, unquestionably, the best man for this job. Do the right thing for his executive management team, Mr.Marsden, Mr. Rockwell, Mr.Miamis etc., too many to name individually. All very well respected in the industry and again, the best men for the job. Do the right thing for the 20,000 plus hard working and dedicated associates, of which I am one. We work hard, we care about what we do and we do our best each day that we come to work. For this we are extremely well rewarded with great pay ,excellent benefits and a company that genuinely cares about us. Do the right thing for the cities and towns that we serve. There are many communities that depend on their Market Basket to help their citizens maintain an affordable and comfortable lifestyle. There are also many other communities that would do just about anything to have their own Market Basket. Do the right thing for the thousands of associates who will follow me working for this great company. Hopefully they will be afforded the same opportunities that have been afforded me. Do the right thing for the charities, churches, schools and many organizations that benefit from the philanthropy of Arthur DeMoulas and the DeMoulas foundation. And lastly, but certainly not least, do the right thing for our loyal and dedicated customers. Let’s face it, without them we are nothing. They deserve the best and that is exactly what we have been able to provide to them over the years.
In closing, again I have a request. Dig deep, real deep and ask yourselves how can I do the right thing. I know what that is and hopefully you will come to that same conclusion.