The CEO of Softbank-backed Ola reportedly tortured its employees and made them run laps for small mistakes.
What Happened: Over two dozen present and former Ola employees exposed Bhavish Aggarwal‘s aggressive and abrasive behavior at work in an interview with Bloomberg, which according to them, has upset board members and managers.
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The employees revealed different instances where Aggarwal used Punjabi epithets at teams and told the staff they were useless. The report noted that he also tore presentations and cut short meetings because he would get angry about sentence constructions, missing page numbers, crooked paper clips or the quality of printing paper.
Some employees also accused Aggarwal of giving unrealistic deadlines and unplanned meetings well past midnight, sometimes even at “1 am or 3 am.”
In another bizarre incident, Aggarwal once reportedly asked an employee to run three rounds of the sprawling Ola Futurefactory because an entryway, which was supposed to be open, was shut when he visited.
Agarwal has big ambitions for his subsidiary Ola Electric. Earlier this year, following in the footsteps of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, he decided to step back from day-to-day operations to focus more on engineering functions, team building, and products. He wants to build his company to rival the likes of Tesla and Warren Buffett-backed Chinese conglomerate BYD Company.
Defending his behavior, he told Bloomberg that anger and frustration were “me as a whole.”
“Passions and emotions run high, and we are not on an easy journey,” he said. “Not everybody is a fit for our culture.”
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