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Owning a piece of the pie

Patti Breckenridge

Patti Breckenridge

You’ve probably heard it before. Publix is owned by its employees. In fact, it’s the largest employee-owned company in the nation.

What does that mean? Do the CEO and President call each of us before making a big decision? Do all 173,000 of us meet annually in a big stadium with the Board of Directors to help evaluate the company’s performance? As you might guess, both of those would be a little impractical.

Being employee-owned means that Publix associates – as a group – own more shares of stock than any one stockholder. That may not seem like a big deal to some outsiders, but when associates receive much of that stock at no cost to them (through our Employee Stock Ownership Plan) and the value of the stock has risen an average of 15.4% each year since it was first valued in 1959…. well, you get the picture. We are all sharing in the success of the company in a very tangible way. A good number of associates retire millionaires, including some who were in hourly store positions for much of their careers.

But Publix associates are treated like owners of the company in ways beyond that technical distinction. We may not be able to gather together in one place at the same time, but nearly every one of us is surveyed every year for feedback on a wide range of issues. Results of that annual survey are used to determine what we’re doing well and what we need to work on. Our associates are very conscientious, so their advice is highly valued.

There are also plenty of ways that Publix shows its appreciation for good work, not the least of which are the Service Award events. For every 5 years of service, associates are invited to a lunch or dinner where everyone else with that anniversary is invited. These are wonderful get-togethers where company leaders personally express their thanks. They take place in cities and towns throughout our market area. In 2014, more than 18,000 associates participated in these events!

I’d like to say, just take my word for it that we feel like family here. After all, I spent 24 years working for other large companies and I know this doesn’t happen everywhere. But DON’T take my word for it. Ask others in the company what they think. Best of all, come work for us and make your own judgment.


4 Responses

  1. kellylisa September 1, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

    Had my interview today for the new store in Cary. Hopefully I will be a new employee soon!

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge September 2, 2014 at 10:53 am #

      Awesome! I wish you the best!


  2. jdesimont March 19, 2015 at 10:28 pm #

    Can associates bring their spouse to these events?

    • Marcy
      Marcy March 20, 2015 at 8:56 am #


      The service awards dinner, which is held for associates with 20 or more years of service (at five year milestones), is an event to which the honored associates can bring one guest. That guest can be a spouse or parent, etc. The service awards lunch, which is held for associates with five to 15 years of service (at five year milestones), doesn’t allow for a guest for the honored associate but the associate’s manager attends with him or her.

      I hope that helps.

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