Recently, a clip of AirAsia Thailand’s chief executive officer (CEO) Tassapon Bijleveld cussing at a female colleague and telling her to “shut up” during a virtual town hall meeting attended by 500 people, went viral on social media.
Since then AirAsia Group boss Tan Sri Tony Fernandes has apologised for Bijleveld’s behaviour during the meeting after he was heavily bashed by netizens on social media over the weekend.
Fernandes and AirAsia Digital president Aireen Omar who were present during the meeting did not call out Bijleveld’s behaviour immediately and instead seemed to be smiling when Tassapon acted as such.
Fernandes told The Vibes that he spoke to Bijleveld privately to let him know his behaviour was unacceptable.
“This is not the culture we want in AirAsia. What he did was wrong and he apologised.”
While netizens are labelling Bijleveld’s behaviour as “sexist,” Fernandes disagrees as he said Bijleveld would’ve done the same towards a male employee.
“Of course the language used was not right but I know Tassapon.
“He would say the same thing to a male staffer.”
On whether further action would be taken against Bijleveld, Fernandes revealed that the decision is up to AirAsia’s board of directors.
ICYMI, in the meeting video, the female staff was cussed at and interrupted repeatedly by Bijleveld as she discussed about AirAsia’s acquisition of Gojek Thailand and its impact on the airline’s logistics company Teleport.
1. @airasia is taking on @gojekthailand (on-demand multi-service platform)’s business in Thailand. In a video call, President (@airasia Digital) @aireenomar, CEO TonyF appear to smile when leader @tassapon uses profanity and bullies an @airasia Digital venture (Teleport) staff. pic.twitter.com/9R3JZ2ydAX
— 🏴🏴Nick🏴🏴🍥 (@Nicholas_Gomez) July 25, 2021
According to MalayMail, a search on LinkedIn shows that the female employee is a senior manager at Teleport.
“What’s your ****ing question? Come on. What’s your question? Come on, don’t talk a lot,” said Bijleveld in the clip.
When the staff begins speaking in Thai, he told her to “shut up.”
Fernandes added that everyone was caught by surprise by Bijleveld’s behaviour and that he immediately called the female employee after the meeting to apologise.
An AirAsia staff revealed a WhatsApp of an internal memo and an apology video from Bijleveld two weeks later.
“We will ensure that incidents of this nature do not happen again.
“We sincerely apologise for everyone affected by the incident,” read the post.