I recently ended serving for three years on the Davis Food Co-op board. The Co-op, like most co-ops in the United States (and companies such as Shell Oil) uses policy governance for its decision-making. This is a very deliberative process in which the general manager is evaluated against specific deliverables that advance board-approved “ends” and stay within policy “boundaries.”
A unanimous board decision is a powerful clue that there were serious problems with the general manager’s performance. (The one abstention was from the board member who is also on staff and isn’t allowed to vote on issues affecting her boss’ evaluation or compensation.)
I suspect that some of these issues won’t be shared with the members because of Co-op’s privacy clauses in its personnel policies. I encourage members to trust the judgment of the board and wait for more information before jumping to conclusions.