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The Nashua Telegraph reports that employees and customers are coming to the aid of Arthur T. Demoulas, CEO of Market Basket, who is facing the possibility this week that he could lose his job as a result of a long-term family squabble that now has spread to the company's board of directors.

According to the story, Market Basket employees and customers at some of the chain's stores are circulating petitions calling for the company to keep the current management to "protect families from paying higher prices and protect thousands of employees and their future." The petitions are only for purposes of persuasion; they have no legal standing in the case.

The Telegraph writes that "supporters of Arthur T. Demoulas argue that their opponents just want to take more money out of the company at the expense of employees and the stores’ reputation for low prices," while supporters of Arthur S. Demoulas, the CEO's cousin, "say Arthur T. Demoulas ignores the board of directors and has made it possible for his family to be involved in some questionable deals."
KC's View:
There are few things in life messier than when things go bad between families in business together. What seems unquestionable is that under current management, Market Basket has grown, has served its communities well, has rewarded its employees fairly, and seems to be doing all the right things competitively. And the more I read about the case, the more it seems like the board is headed down a road that could improve ownership's compensation at the cost of higher prices and margins ... which could screw up the whole enterprise. What they may not realize is that it does not take much to alienate a customer base. Trust, as the Latin proverb goes, never returns once it goes.