Employee Owner Group: Publix Should Go Public
It is widely acknowledged that employee-owned Publix Super
Markets is one of the better run chains in the grocery business. Much of the
credit, management has long maintained, goes to workers who feel as though
they have a real stake in the company.
Now, a group of those same workers is
claiming management has failed to help them realize the full value of their
stakes. The group, Publix Employee Shareholders United, has put forth its own
slate of write-in candidates for the company board and wants the company to
pursue an initial public offering (IPO) to "allow
employees to access the value of their ownership stake."
The group claims
that the value of shares held by employees, roughly 85 percent of total shares,
is limited by the fact that Publix is a private company.
According to a release
put out by Publix Employee Shareholders United, "The
board, primarily comprised of the descendants of George Jenkins who founded
the company in 1930 and who own less than 15 percent of the company’s stock,
has resisted taking actions that would allow shareholders to monetize their
ownership in the company."
A request made to Publix for comment was not
answered at the time this story was published.
[Editor’s Note] Many outside the company also credit employee-ownership
for the success Publix has enjoyed. Eight-six percent of respondents in a RetailWire poll
in September 2010 said employee-owners were "much more" or "somewhat
more" productive than workers at company where they did not have a stake.
- Publix Employees Demand IPO – Intend To Replace Current Board of Directors
– Publix Employee Shareholders United/PRLog
- Publix Employee Shareholders United – Facebook (reg. required)
Discussion Question: What do you think would be the result for the business if Publix went public?