An airline CEO has been forced to apologise after a leaked video went viral online showing an executive reportedly insulting a female employee.
Asia Aviation Public Company Limited (AAV) executive chairman Tassapon Bijleveld, who is also the chairman of Thai AirAsia, reportedly humiliated an employee when she was asking a question during a virtual town hall meeting.
The video shows the woman was speaking when Bijleveld suddenly interrupted and asked, "What's your f***ing question, come on."
The unnamed woman tried to ask again, and he interjected with: "What's your question, come on. Don't talk a lot, too much to talk."
The video, which reportedly happened this month, has since gone viral on social media with one user calling the interjection "disappointing". Others called the video "disgraceful", "despicable", and "absolutely incomprehensible and vile".
"I feel so shocked, horrified and enraged to see this video of my friend being grossly disrespected by the CEO of AirAsia Thailand in a live company town hall attended by over 500," a Twitter user who posted the video said.
"I feel sick and disgusted, and also surprised, to see how corporate male egotism and patriarchy in a company like AirAsia is being tolerated."
As a result of the awkward exchange, AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes apologised but didn't explain why he did not stand up for the employee when it happened during the virtual town hall.
"This is not the culture we want in AirAsia. What he did was wrong and he apologised," Fernandes reportedly told local media, the Vibe.
"Of course the language used was not right but I know Tassapon … He would say the same thing to a male staffer," Fernandes said.
Despite the social media backlash around the exchange, some Twitter users questioned whether the snippet of the meeting may have been taken out of context and people might be blowing things out of proportion.
In addition to Fernandes, it is understood the other participants on the video call were AirAsia digital president Aireen Omar and head of e-commerce Lim Ben-Jie.