business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Boston Globe reports that in the wake of the recent contretemps at Market Basket, where employees walked the picket lines and even promoted a customer boycott when their preferred CEO, Arthur T. Demoulas, lost his job, it decided to conduct a survey of local employees to see what the would do if their CEO was canned.

Forty three percent of respondents said they'd do nothing, and 19 percent said they'd sign a petition in favor of his or her firing.

A whopping 11 percent said they'd walk off the job, while 25 percent said they did not know what they would do.

And, in one of the more curious responses, three percent said they'd post a picture of the fired boss in their workspaces.

However, CEOs interviewed by the Globe said that - regardless of the fact that the survey suggested they may not be as valued by their employees as Arthur T. Demoulas was - they'd learned much from the Market Basket situation. "The turmoil at Market Basket sparked corporate soul-searching in corner offices everywhere," the Globe writes. "Employee protests and a customer boycott crippled the popular grocery chain over the summer. The message: Don’t put profits before people."
KC's View:
I think there are damned few companies where a significant number of employees would protest so vociferously if the CEO were canned … and I think the CEOs know it. Market Basket was an anomaly, though I do think companies would largely be better off if the folks at the top focused on compassionate leadership that invests in employees rather than competent management that treats employees as if they are a cost.