The boss from AirAsia, Tony Fernandescreated a storm on social media after sharing a photo of himself receiving a shirtless massage during a management meeting.
The co-founder of the Malaysian low cost airline posted the image this week on LinkedIn, where he praised his company’s culture but received criticism for fostering what some considered an inappropriate work environment. In his post, the business tycoon said he had “a stressful week”, so a colleague suggested she get a massage. The photo depicted him sitting in a conference room in an office, having his shoulder massaged by a masked worker.
The post was deleted days later after a wave of criticism, with many LinkedIn users saying his behavior was unprofessional, that it might make other people in the workplace uncomfortable. “I don’t think women in your company would feel comfortable or safe in this setting, and given that you’re the boss, they probably won’t challenge you or say anything”commented a user. “You are clearly a smart leader who cares about culture, but this is not the right way to create one that is supportive for you. » Fernandes earlier told Bloomberg that he had just endured an 18-hour flight and was in pain, so he agreed to the massage suggestion.
Tony Fernandes is best known for relaunching AirAsia, the region’s first low-cost airline. He is now CEO of the airline’s parent company, Capital A. The entrepreneur has been nicknamed by some “Richard Branson of Asia”, after starting his career with the founder of the Virgin group in the United Kingdom, where they became friends. Fernandes then oversaw the activities of Warner Music Group in Southeast Asia, before buying AirAsia, a bankrupt Malaysian carrier, for just 26 cents in 2001. The carrier was relaunched and remains one of the region’s leading providers of low-cost travel.
The AirAsia Group has been renamed Capital A last year, in an effort to show how AirAsia was becoming “more than just an airline”, according to a company statement at the time. Fernandes has long expressed his desire to promote a open work culturetelling CNN in a 2007 interview: “I want people to be themselves”.