'I feel terrible that my rallying cry seemed insensitive'
The embattled chief executive officer of office furniture maker MillerKnoll has expressed her apologies for her recently viral rant against employees asking for bonuses, according to a report.
CEO Andi Owen in Michigan was put in the hot seat this week after telling her employees to "leave pity city" instead of asking for bonuses - a statement that was leaked online and garnered outrage across social media.
The company initially said the CEO was "taken out of context" in the 90-second clip, which has been shared on popular social media platforms such as YouTube, Reddit, and Twitter.
But in a later statement seen by the Motherboard, the CEO's tone in her message to employees was apologetic.
"What I'd hoped would energize the team to meet a challenge we've met many times before landed in a way that I did not intend and for that I am sorry," said Owen in the statement shared by the Motherboard.
The CEO referred to her rant as a "rallying cry" - and stressed that as a leader, she has always wanted to pick the right words and tone to inspire and motivate her staff.
"I want to be transparent and empathetic, and as I continue to reflect on this instance, I feel terrible that my rallying cry seemed insensitive," she said.
The controversy came as the company reported a 4.4% decline in consolidated net sales in the quarter ending on March 4, 2023. According to Motherboard's report, the company has yet to decide on bonuses for the 2023 fiscal year.
The issue also surfaced amid growing bonus-related controversies faced by other firms across the world.
Google previously announced that it would only be giving employees a portion of their annual bonus checks, while employees at Tesla's Shanghai factory claimed that they would be getting performance bonus cuts allegedly because of a workplace accident in February.
Other employees, on the other hand were more fortunate. Mercedes-Benz recently rewarded staff a record bonus of €7,300. Shipping and refining companies in Asia also delivered massive bonuses following strong revenue in the previous year.