The Market Basket Board Meeting Transcripts Are as Crazy as You’d Expect

Arthur T. and Arthur S. Demoulas
Arthur T. and Arthur S. Demoulas
The Boston Globe

If you’re a fan of family dramas or screaming Kardashian-like reality shows, grab the popcorn; The Boston Globe has obtained transcripts from Market Basket board meetings over the years, and they do not disappoint.

There is so much to get through, but we thought we’d highlight just a couple of the exchanges, like the time Arthur T. and Arthur S. Demoulas clashed over contributions to the employee profit-sharing plan:

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At the November 2009 meeting, the board voted on a proposal to make a 20 percent contribution to the plan. All the directors voted in favor, except Arthur S., who abstained.

“You’re not in favor?” Arthur T. asked.

“Arthur, you don’t ask me questions,” Arthur S. replied. “I ask you questions.”

Looking for some witty repartee? You’re going to love former board member Nabil El-Hage, who seemed to hold his own when arguing with the Arthurs:

“You’re not Catholic, are you, Arthur?” El-Hage said. “That’s a serious question. You’re Greek, so you practice Greek Orthodox.”

“Right,” Arthur T. replied.

El-Hage zeroed in on his point: “That explains it, because in my religion we believe only the pope is infallible.”

And as if you needed any more confirmation that typical business rules go out the window on the Demoulas battleground, here’s board member J. Terence Carleton, who currently represents the Arthur T. side of the family, addressing the notion that new standards of review could be brought to the company’s real estate dealings.

"Everything theoretically here works until we try to put it in a practical application," Carleton said. "And then it blows up because of the contentiousness of the two families."

Whether that principle will hold in 2014, as Arthur T. continues to negotiate to buy-out the company from Arthur S. and his family, remains to be seen.

Those exchanges are just the tip of the iceberg. To read more of the two Arthurs—and the rest of the board—debate how company money should be spent, the extent of Arthur T.’s authority, the real estate deals that Arthur S. perceived as self-dealing, and the role employees play in keeping the company running, check out the full Globe report. The Globe also put together a terrific interactive graphic with links to more fleshed out meeting transcripts.

Check out more Boston.com coverage of the Market Basket saga.