Nice supermarket boss gives his employees the business for Christmas


Some bosses give their employees a small token of their appreciation as a holiday gift. Joe Lueken, who owns two supermarkets in Bemidji, Minn., and one in Wahpeton, N.D., is giving his employees the whole business. Lueken, 70, is retiring and, instead of selling off Lueken’s Village Foods to the highest bidder, has decided to transfer ownership of the business he spent 46 years building to his 400 workers. Their tenure will begin January 1, through an Employee Stock Ownership Program. “My employees are largely responsible for any success I’ve had, and they deserve to get some of the benefits of that,” Lueken said. Employee Maria Svare said of her generous boss, “He’s rockin’ awesome.”

Joe Lueken, supermarket boss, transfers ownership of business to employees

I am reminded of a story I read years ago where a factory utilized the Employee Stock Ownership Program. The factory was failing and this method was used to turn the factory around.

However in that case what the problem was that management had layer upon layer of management which ate all the profit. The company was reorganized and the result was that with fewer people that had to be gone through the company turned around and started to make a profit.