TEWKSBURY, Mass. — Infighting over control of Demoulas Super Markets has reportedly taken its toll on one of its board members.
Nabil El-Hage, one of three independent directors on the retailer’s seven-member board, resigned Wednesday, saying serving on the board “had evolved into a very difficult and time-consuming assignment,” according to a statement published Thursday in the Boston Herald. “With 28 board and committee meetings over the past two-and-one-half months, the position had grown to require far more time than I had available to devote to it.”
Board activity at Demoulas, parent of the Market Basket chain, ramped up this summer after the family faction representing Class A shareholders gained control of the board from rival Class B shareholders, led by longtime company president Arthur T. Demoulas. The two sides are locked in a court battle now over composition of the board, with Class B shareholders challenging the appointment of another independent director, Keith Cowan.
El-Hage, a former Harvard Business School professor, was one of three independent “A-B directors” of the Demoulas board.
Read more: Demoulas President Loses Board Challenge
Amid controversy over board actions, including a $300 million dividend for shareholders and the appointment of an executive search firm thought to be seeking a replacement for the company president, El-Hage and the other independent directors authored a letter to employees saying they wanted what’s best for the company.
In a statement, Class B director Bill Shea said, “It is very concerning that in the midst of crises the chairman of the governance committee and a key independent board member resigns. It demonstrates that the new board needs to reconsider its methods and the path that it's been on.”
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