MillerKnoll Townhall: Bonus Content Available Online

Furniture maker Millerknoll’s CEO Andi Owen incurred the internet’s wrath after a recording of her response to a question about employee bonuses at an internal townhall was shared online and went viral. Owen attempted to redirect the questioner from bonuses to improving their own personal performance and achieving certain benchmarks (“the $26 million” referenced in the recording), also admonishing them to “leave pity city.” Much of the outrage was focused on the fact that Owen herself received nearly $4 million in bonus incentives just last year.

Business Takeaway: First and foremost, lessons in (1) poor messaging; and (2) the challenges of being “authentic without boundaries” in an online company forum that can be easily recorded and posted elsewhere (rightly or wrongly). Professor Adam Grant spoke to the second in this piece just a few years back.