When it comes to CEOs, ignorance of the culture in your workplace is unacceptable. Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer recently came to the defense of Uber’s Travis Kalanick saying that she didn’t think Kalanick knew about the toxic culture at his company: “I just don’t think he knew. When your company scales that quickly, it’s hard,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle.
This is like Donald Trump defending Vladimir Putin. To say that Kalanick didn’t know about toxic culture puts him in the same league as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and his infamous comment in the New York Times expose on his workplace’s culture: “That’s not the Amazon I know.” Mayer’s defense of Kalanick as a “great leader” reflects the general attitude of organizational leaders today—their only concern is shareholders and they just don’t care about their workplace culture and, by extension, their employees.
Andrew Faas is the author of From Bully to Bull’s-Eye: Move Your Organization Out of the Line of Fire.
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