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3 memorable apology whiffs

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

It’s been a busy year for the word “Sorry.”

Maddening: “I apologize for having to reaccommodate these customers.” Just one part of United Airlines’ disastrous response after it had a 69-year-old physician dragged, bleeding, off a full flight. United CEO Oscar Munoz then apologized for his apology.

Middling: “I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up.” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick capped a season of scandals with an apology that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the ride-hailing service.

Almost there: “Clearly we missed the mark and we apologize.” Pepsi’s PR department issued this passable, if not heartfelt, apology after its ad featuring soda-sharing protesters was denounced as shallow, insipid and insulting.

— Adapted from “Corporate Contrition: Who Groveled Best?,” www.fortune.com.

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