On Friday, 12/6, an email was sent from Scott Patenaude, Meat Dept Manager at #24 and a front line leader in this fight since day one, to Ron Weiner, Keith Cowan, Gerard Levins and us. We will start with this email:
From: Scott Patenaude [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2013 10:45 PM
To: Ronald G. Weiner; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: The competition
To the board of directors of MB. I have attached a picture with this email. I’m sure to you it means nothing. To those of us that work for MB it speaks volumes. It is a picture of a former stop and shop store in Hudson NH, it is one of the 6 that were closed this year due to lack of business. Any idea how many MBs were closed due to lack of business? NONE! Did I mention that you could park an MB tractor trailer and have one end in our parking lot and one end in that one at the same time? That’s how close they were! Do you think that is luck? I’m sure most of you don’t follow the retail grocery business, you are lawyers, accountants, professional board members. But make no mistake about this, ATD is the best person for the position and this company. We were to open approximately 5-6 stores this year, while our competition closed 6 with more to follow. Yet you feel the need to look for new CEO, and by the way, lie about it. Please forward this to the newest “independent” board member Mr. Gebaide.
Thank you for taking time to read this
The next morning, Mr. Weiner replied:
Ronald G. Weiner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dec 7 (2 days ago)
to gerard, keith.cowan, me, Larry
I believe we need have a response to allegations that the board has lied as well as to the difference between having more sales after spending millions of dollars in new stores but no more profits.
Ps My response to him specifically would be
Dear Mr. Patenaude,
Once again you are misinformed. The Board is not looking for a new CEO. An apology would be appropriate.
It is interesting to note that Mr. Weiner removed Scott from his reply, added Larry Rand (the top guy at Kekst, the super expensive PR firm, who is handling the PR for the board) and he neglected to remove us from the distribution. He also fails to remove the one “A” director, Gerry Levins, from the list which surely, as an INDEPENDENT member of the board, he should have done and finally he fails to include Mr. Gebaide in the email as Scott asked.
Those facts aside, let’s address the body of his email. He starts with a recommendation which is perfectly fine, though misguided as usual. He feels the need to address the “allegations that the board has lied” and to educate us on “the difference between having more sales after spending millions of dollars in new stores but no more profits.” With all due respect Mr. Weiner, the board has lied to us when it states “the Board may, in the future, retain an executive search firm to assist it in identifying qualified potential candidates from outside the organization.” Hasn’t Spencer/Stuart already been retained? Haven’t they already billed the company over $300k? As for your concern about educating us on the spending v. profits issue, please stop taking us for idiots.
Let’s move on to his postscript. This is where he just couldn’t leave well enough alone. You can almost see him seething as he added it in. He’s sick of us and all of our annoying, meddling ways. “Go back and sell your canned soup, dammit! Leave me alone.” He starts off by calling Scott (all of us) misinformed. How so? Please enlighten us. He then says the board is not looking for a new CEO. LIE! If not, then justify the retaining of Spencer/Stuart and the paying them of an outrageous amount of money. If they are not looking for a new CEO, then what are they looking for? Someone to place above him? The top management below him? How long do you plan on having US pay for them? Finally, his coup de grace: an apology would be appropriate. How dare you, sir! How dare you even insinuate that Scott (all of us) owe you anything, least of all an apology? You have come into our family’s home and have put into jeopardy all that we work for day in and day out, under the guise of being an independent thinker. The first time any of us laid an eye on you was in Andover back in July when you were a passenger in the car of Arthur S. Demoulas as you drove through the thousands of us on your way into the meeting. The second time was when you brushed aside like street scum those of us who simply wanted a word with you at the Prudential Center and now you have asked for an apology from one of us who has the unmitigated gall to ask a few questions of you as he fears for the well being of his family’s future. We simply connect the dots and are able to see very clearly that you retain zero independence in any matter related to us or our company. You also look down on us in every manner possible, be it in person or via email. For these infractions we do not respect you, for your collusion with Arthur S and his sisters we denounce you and for your utter lack of respect towards Arthur T. Demoulas and his management team we say shame on you.
A resignation from OUR board would be appropriate. You are not fit to serve and you are not independent. Your judgement is extremely questionable based on your carelessness in how you handled this email along with the lack of discretion shown in accepting a ride from an “A” director. This is not ASD’s country club as he would have you believe, it is a way of life; a means to make a living for associates and a means to save money for customers. Stop messing with it and go back to New York. We will press you on this until you go, on that you have our word.
If anyone would like to “apologize” to Mr. Weiner, please email him at email@example.com. Do so respectfully, in the MB way. Do not sink to his level by being insulting like he always is to us.