Herbert Diess, from Volkswagen, he has earned the qualification of president more loudmouth. The first executive of the automobile manufacturer valued at 74,000 million euros apologized last Thursday for mentioning a Nazi motto when saying "ebit macht frei" [el resultado de explotación libera] and he was forced to recognize that the dark history of his company gives him a "special responsibility in relation to the Third Reich". Call it a total blunder.
The words of Diess reminded the Arbeit macht frei, (literally, "Work makes you free") that appeared at the gates of Auschwitz under the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. It is assumed that the head of the company spoke of the financial cushion available to companies with positive operating margins, which is especially important for Volkswagen given the increase in their investments in electric cars.
All that is fine, but Diess is paid eight million euros a year to show his criteria. Other CEOs have wrongly referred to fascism, as Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg did last year when he hinted that those who deny the Holocaust might have made a mistake without bad faith. And even more they have adopted a frivolous and counterproductive approach towards their brand. Gerald Ratner, the owner of a major British jewelry company, is famous for rating one of its "total garbage" products.
Former German television executive Thomas Ebeling told analysts he was not too worried about Netflix robbing viewers because ProSieben's clientele was "obese" and "a bit poor." And former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said his company was doing "the work of God" shortly after the financial crisis.
However, by combining the two things, Diess easily wins the bad criteria trophy. In its early years, Volkswagen depended in fact on the slave labor of the Nazi concentration camps. It is not advisable to make any kind of joke about the Holocaust, but especially when your company is in some way associated with it.
When Sainsbury's CEO, Mike Coupe, sang We're in The Money [seremos ricos] After reaching an agreement that would surely lead to job cuts, at least he hurried to ask for forgiveness. Diess's exculpatory statement – that his joke had been "taken out of context" – does not exactly hit the nail on the head, especially if you take into account that from his play on words it is deduced that he had seriously thought about the best way to Make a positive comment about your company. The recent history of the Volkswagen brand revolves around harmful emissions; It is quite incredible that your CEO thought it wise to add some of his own harvest.