Andi Owen, the CEO of American furniture company MillerKnoll, is facing backlash after a video of her surfaced on social media asking her employees not to live in a “compassionate city” and that they should stay motivated even if they don’t. not get a bonus. Ms. Owen’s response began with a calm encouragement to staff to “focus on the things you can control,” such as providing excellent customer service, according to a report in Fortune Magazine.
She says in the video, “Treat each other right. Be nice. Be respectful. Lead by example.”
Ms. Owen addressed employees’ concerns about losing their bonuses during what appears to be a town hall in which she motivates employees to meet a sales target before MillerKnoll’s fiscal year ends at the end of May. “Don’t ask ‘what are we going to do if we don’t get a bonus?’ Get that damn $26 million,” she said, citing an internal statistic.
zoom call from a CEO who canceled all employee bonuses but took a $6.4 million bonus himself pic.twitter.com/SMZP6QQYCX
— Warren Commission Test Skull (@conzmoleman) April 17, 2023
She continued, “Spend your time and effort thinking about the $26 million we need and not what you’re going to do if we don’t get a bonus. Okay? Can I get some commitment on that?” The CEO, acknowledging that some of the feedback she received on the subject was “not so nice”, made no effort to minimize the risks after many employees reportedly wondered how she expected them to keep themselves motivated if they don’t get a bonus.
She answered the same, saying, “I had an old boss who once said to me, ‘You can visit Pity City, but you can’t live there.’ So folks, get out of Pity City. Let’s get it done.”
However, after the matter erupted on social media, the CEO wrote to her staff via email and apologized for her statement, as reported by VICE. “What I had hoped would energize the team to take on a challenge that we’ve encountered many times before, but it landed in a way I didn’t intend and I’m sorry for that,” she said in a statement. email that was accessible to the outlet.
As the fiscal year ends in May, MillerKnoll has not yet made a decision regarding bonus payments to employees. According to the power of attorney filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms. Owen received compensation of approximately $5 million in 2022, including a salary of $1.1 million, as well as several stock options and bonus payments