In recent weeks, the managers, employees and customers of a New England chain of supermarkets called Market Basket have joined together to oppose the board of directors’ decision in June to oust the chain’s popular chief executive, Arthur T. Demoulas.
Their demonstrations and boycotts have emptied most of the chain’s 71 stores.
What was so special about Arthur T., as he’s known? Mainly, his business model. He kept prices lower than his competitors, paid his employees more, and gave them and his managers more authority. Late last year, he offered customers an additional 4 percent discount, arguing they could use the money more than the shareholders.
In other words, Arthur T. viewed the company as a joint enterprise from which everyone should benefit, not just shareholders. Which is why the board fired him.