Aaron Feuerstein-a Socially Responsible Owner

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Aaron Feuerstein-A Socially Responsible Owner

The evening of December 11, 1995, was a special time for Aaron Feuerstein, CEO of Malden Mills. A small surprise 70th birthday party quietly was held in his honor at a local Boston restaurant. But Feuerstein’s life took a dramatic turn that evening for a different reason: A boiler at his company’s plant exploded, setting off a fire that injured 33employees and destroyed three of the factory’s century-old buildings. Malden Mills was a privately owned firm, with Feuerstein owning a majority share. The firm was located in a small Massachusetts town, Methuen, and employed nearly 3,000 people in the economically depressed area. The fire was a devastating blow for the community. According
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The Bank of Boston donated $50,000, the company’s union sent $100,000, and the Chamber of Commerce in nearby Lawrence, Massachusetts, contributed $150,000. Many of Malden Mills’ customers promised to stick with the company and wait for them to rebuild and regain their production capacity rather than switch to a competitor.
Just eight months after the fire, three of the four production lines at Malden Mills were fully operational and all but 500 of the nearly 2,400 employees were back to work in the factory. But unexpected downturns in the apparel industry challenged the wisdom of Feuerstein’s actions. By 1998, employees at Malden Mills experienced steady layoffs and the firm acquired $120 million in debt. Under the leadership of new chief operating officer Gerald Bowe, following the values of the company’s founder, Malden Mills experienced a turnaround in 1999. Hourly employee recalls numbered 1,500, bringing the total number of employees back to the level at the time of fire. Government and overseas contracts countered the decline in sales in the competitive domestic market, and Malden Mills appeared to be recovering from its financial setbacks as the firm entered the twenty-first century. Aaron Feuerstein’s commitment to both the company’s economic and social mission and goals appeared to have emerged from ashes intact.
1. Which principle of social responsibility was the basis of Aaron

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