Market Basket's restored chief delivered heartfelt words of thanks to his supporters Thursday, just hours after his return to the helm of the grocery chain was announced.
Arthur T. Demoulas, whose June firing as CEO sparked weeks of protests and boycotts, told a cheering crowd of hundreds of employees that he is in "awe of what you have all accomplished.
"I've always believed that we are born into this world at a certain time and a certain place to be with certain people for a reason and a purpose. Everyone has a destiny and because of you I stand here with a renewed vigor and a sense of purpose," he told those gathered outside the company's Tewksbury, Massachusetts, headquarters.
"And may we always remember this past summer, first as a time where our collective values of loyalty courage and kindness for one another really prevailed and in that process we just happened to save our company."
[NECN] PHOTOS: The Market Basket Saga
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Demoulas and the board announced late Wednesday that an agreement has been reached for him to buy for $1.5 billion the 50.5 percent of the company owned by his rival cousin Arthur S. Demoulas.
The restored chief credited employees' grassroots efforts for his victory, saying workers and supporters "displayed to everyone your unwavering dedication and desire to protect the culture of your company.”
“You have demonstrated that everyone here has a purpose," he said. "You have demonstrated that everyone has meaning and no one person is better or more important than another, and no one person holds a position of privilege."
The standoff had prompted intervention by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan.
Trucks have started making deliveries to the New England supermarket chain.
"Let's get to work and have lots of fun," said Demoulas.
Watch his full speech below: