Brewdog co-founder James Watt has told the BBC that “we haven’t always got things right” after an open letter from 60 ex employees criticising the company’s toxic culture was posted on Twitter. In the letter, a ‘significant number’ of former staff had allegedly ‘suffered mental illness as a result of working at Brewdod’ but Watt didn’t confirm if the allegations were true.
Said James Watt, “For me, it’s not about disputing individual claims. But 60 people were unhappy and we have to get better. That’s the only way we can get something good out of this situation.”
The former employees claimed that the firm was built around a ‘cult of personality’ of Watt and co-founder Martin Dickie and made a number of allegations, including a culture where staff were afraid to speak out about concerns.
The letter also said that they had exploited publicity, ‘both good and bad’, to further their own business goals and chased ‘growth, at all costs’.
Continued Watt, “We genuinely apologise. You spent years claiming you wanted to be the best employer in the world, presumably to help you to recruit top talent, but ask former staff what they think of those claims, and you’ll most likely be laughed at.
“Being treated like a human being was sadly not always a given for those working at Brewdog.
“We have to see this feedback as an opportunity to get better. We have to learn, we have to act. We have to take it on the chin.”
The brewer and pub chain employs 2,000 staff.