• Friday, December 01, 2023


AirAsia chief takes on critics after ‘shirtless’ meeting ruckus: ‘We are always together’

Fernandes’s new post on LinkedIn was praised by many who said his positivity and resilience are inspiring.

AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes (Photo by YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

AirAsia chief executive officer (CEO) Tony Fernandes, who recently faced a serious backlash after posting a picture of himself sitting bare-bodied and receiving massage while attending a management meeting, has taken on the critics with a new post on LinkedIn.

On the networking platform, he posted two pictures and said in the post, “After all the attention I got and with so much positive stuff going on decided to stay at the office.”

“What kept us going during Covid and what’s going to make us stronger is our amazing culture and spirit which again I saw yesterday with the tremendous support I continue to get through this rebuilding phase. We laugh, we play, we enjoy, we fight together and we win together but we are always together. Stay strong and always be positive,” the 59-yar-old wrote further in his post.

Many praised Fernandes over the post. “Your positivity and resilience are inspiring,” wrote one user.

Earlier, in a post which has now been deleted, the CEO wrote it had been a “stressful week”.

“Got to love Indonesia and AirAsia culture that I can have a massage and do a management meeting,” he wrote.

The picture led to a massive uproar on social media with many users slamming the CEO’s decision to post it. Critics called it “inappropriate and absurd” and asked Fernandes to set up example of good work ethics and culture instead.

But there were also those who were less harsh on Fernandes and said his post was a good example of how “working from home” should be like.

The Malaysian-born veteran, who studied in Britain’s prestigious Epsom College, had acquired AirAsia, a budget airline, from the Malaysian government over two decades ago for less than $1. He also became the owner of the QPR football club in the UK and played a key role in founding the former Caterham F1 Formula One team.

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