BrewDog boss holds his hands up to not being ‘the best people manager’

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BrewDog chief executive James Watt (pictured left with co-founder Martin Dickie) has admitted that he’s “not always been the best people manager” on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme at the weekend in response to an open letter from his employees in June this year criticising the company’s ‘toxic culture.’

Watt publicly apologised at the time after a group of around 70 former staff signed the letter.

He told the BBC at the weekend, “It’s fair to say that we haven’t always been the best employer we can be and it’s fair to say that some people haven’t had a fantastic experience of working in our company.

“In the past I’ve been intense as a people manager, impatient, I am demanding, I push hard – those are traits fellow entrepreneurs might recognise in themselves.

“I think as an entrepreneur you’ve got to have some of those traits, but with everything there needs to be an element of balance. We’ve got 6,000 former employees and a small percentage were unhappy with their experience within the company and I apologise for that.”

He confirmed the company had put in place a 3% salary increase for all of its employees, along with a review of structure to help those under resourced areas. BrewDog has also started working with a third party agency to do a full review of the business.

Last week, BrewDog hired former Asda chief executive Allan Leighton as its new non-executive chairman.

 

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