AirAsia’s leadership and workplace environment was brought into question after a video call between AirAsia Group and Gojek Thailand was uploaded on Twitter. In case you didn’t know, AirAsia recently announced its partnership with Gojek’s Thailand business with plans to venture into digital business.
On Sunday (25th July), the recorded video of the meeting had included the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AirAsia Malaysia, Tony Fernandes, President of AirAsia Digital, Aireen Omar, CEO of AirAsia Thailand, Tassapon Bijleveld and other AirAsia staff. The video recorded AirAsia Thailand’s CEO, Tassapon using profanity and bullying a staff who was in the middle of answering a question.
The female staff appeared to be in the midst of answering a question directed to her when Tassapon suddenly cut her off and dropped the f word. “What’s your f**king question come on,” he said to her. The female staff was visibly flustered at his words but she then continued to answer the question. He further rushed the staff by saying, “What’s your question? Come on, don’t talk a lot.”
The video sparked outrage from netizens as they were disappointed over the behaviour of a leader who was behaving inappropriately in a professional setting. One of the AirAsia AllStar staff who tuned in to the event also expressed her displeasure over the incident in her writing. “F**k is a four-letter word that should not be callously thrown about in a professional setting, let alone one that is streamed live to the entire organisation. It does not make one cooler, nor does it give those in authority more power,” the staff remarked in the writing.
She also questioned whether Tassapon’s attitude would differ if the staff who was speaking during the townhall session was a male. “As a woman, I wondered also if Mr. Tassapon would have behaved the way he did, if it was a man speaking. But it made me very uncomfortable witnessing a male authority in power, harassing and bullying a woman when she was trying to ANSWER a question. Incessant (and illogical) attacks of “What is your question?” made me suspicious of Mr. Tassapon’s sobriety during the event,’ she wrote.
What further outraged netizens were the reactions of Tony Fernandes and Aireen Omar who were seemingly smiling and enabling Tassapon’s behaviour. Many commented that they were shocked and appalled by the reaction of the two leaders who simply let the situation slide.
“@aireenomar @airasia as a woman you ought to stand up for your female staff and speak up against this misogynist behaviour. Watching this makes me sick. How DARE you let your female colleague be treated like this and not only remain complicit but laugh along?,” a Twitter user commented.
Another person commented that, “This is absolutely disgusting behaviour. It is ridiculous that not only @tassapon believes it’s okay to speak that way to a colleague, but that AirAsia leadership @aireenomar and Tony F simply let it slide is appalling.”
“Absolutely disgusting behaviour by @tassapon. And the smiling faces of Tony Fernandes, @aireenomar like all is well and good just makes it worse. Or is this considered normal behaviour in @airasia culture??” another user remarked. The AirAsia Thailand CEO was said to have released an apology video regarding the incident.
The netizens urged for the company to create a better working environment for the staff and a change in behaviour from the company’s leader.
Source: Nicholas Gomez’s Twitter