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Executive At Center Of New England’s Market Basket Saga Becomes CFO Of 99 Cents Only


Last updated on June 14th, 2024 at 09:48 am

One of the executives at the center of the 2014 drama surrounding New England’s Market Basket supermarket chain has been named CFO of 99 Cents Only Stores, headquartered in California. 99 Cents made the announcement that Felicia Thornton would assume the CFO and treasurer roles on Monday. In a news release discussing Thornton’s work experience, 99 Cents Only referred only to Market Basket under its corporate name, DSM Inc. (short for DeMoulas Supermarkets Inc., Market Basket).

Thornton, along with James Gooch, were hired to oversee the 71-store Market Basket chain in June 2014 after beloved leader Arthur T. DeMoulas was fired and his cousin, Arthur S. DeMoulas, took control of the company. That sparked boycotts from employees and customers alike and, eventually, Arthur T. retook control of the family’s empire after striking a deal to buy out his warring cousin, Arthur S. In the process of the sale being finalized, however, Gooch and Thornton were criticized by many for their continued roles with the company, according to a Boston Globe report. More can be read here.

At 99 Cents, Thornton will be responsible for overseeing finance, accounting, treasury, risk management, legal and IT functions for the company. Thornton’s appointment is part of a broader “Operating Advisor” agreement with Ares Management, the company’s majority shareholder, according to 99 Cents Only. Interim CFO Michael Fung will continue in his position as a member of the company’s board of directors and will return to his position as head of the board’s audit committee.

In addition to her role at Market Basket, Thornton has served in senior leadership positions at Albertsons and The Kroger Co. Prior to her time at Market Basket, she was CEO of Knowledge Universe U.S., one of the largest private childhood education companies. At Albertsons, she served as CFO and led overall strategy for the company for more than five years. For eight years prior to that, Thornton served in a variety of executive strategic and financial roles at Ralphs and Fred Meyer, both of which eventually became part of The Kroger Co., where she continued as group VP responsible for retail operations.

“We are thrilled to welcome Felicia to our team at 99 Cents Only Stores, where we believe her strategic financial experience and proven track record of leading finance functions during transformational change at large, multi-site retail organizations will be valuable to us as we work to continue to grow the company,” said Geoff Covert, president and CEO of 99 Cents Only Stores.

Thornton said, “I have been impressed by 99 Cents Only’s commitment to delivering value to their customers and appreciate the opportunity to join this organization and find new ways to enhance value for all stakeholders. I am committed to supporting the team in driving stronger financial performance as we continue to build 99 Cents Only into a leader in the extreme value sector.”

99 Cents Only, headquartered in California, currently operates 389 stores in California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.

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The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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