A British CEO was caught on camera singing “We’re in the Money” just before talking about his company’s merger with a competitor.
The backlash was immediate.
Mike Coupe, the CEO of British grocery store chain Sainsbury’s, appeared on TV for an interview. As he waited to start talking to ITV News hosts about the company’s merger with rival chain Asda, he relaxed a little — perhaps, more than he should have.
As he stood there in front of the camera, he sang “We’re in the Money,” and the video has now gone viral.
Watch Sainsbury's CEO sing "we're in the money" while waiting to talk about the £12 billion merger with Asda - he's since apologised for his "unguarded moment" https://t.co/Kuaowz0q1u pic.twitter.com/jYMngcahS2— ITV News (@itvnews) April 30, 2018
After the major “oopsie” moment, Coupe issued a statement apologizing for his lack of manners.
“This was an unguarded moment trying to compose myself before a TV interview," he said. “It was an unfortunate choice of song, from the musical 42nd Street which I saw last year, and I apologize if I have offended anyone.”
On Twitter, the reactions to the unguarded moment caught on video were just as priceless as the awkward incident.
My heart goes out to his PR at this difficult time— Richard Lindsay (@RWRL) April 30, 2018
?????? pure partridge! pic.twitter.com/Im6SvzMXT5— Corbyn chick (@CHarrowson) April 30, 2018
Sainsbury's has been the second largest grocery chain in the United Kingdom for the last four years. Before then, it had a difficult battle against Tesco, which overtook Sainsbury's in 2003, with Asda becoming the second largest.
By 2014, Sainsbury's had successfully reached second place again.
In a deal recently announced between Sainsbury's and Asda, the two chains agreed to a £12 billion (about $16 billion) deal, which would effectively take over Tesco as the largest in the industry.
With a combined revenue of £51 billion (about $69 billion), the merger will surely be under scrutiny by competition authorities, as well as unions, which warned that the huge merger would mean a £500 million (about $679 million) savings, translating into job losses or dramatic pay cuts.
Sainsbury’s, however, said that isn't the case, as the company claims that both brands would be maintained and that the £12 billion deal would not close locations or lead to cuts to the payroll.
Still, the fact that Coupe was caught happily singing that "we're in the money" just before an interview about this merger speaks volumes.
If Sainsbury's is so certain that the deal won't hurt the workers who need these jobs the most, then why not share the wealth a little? All they have to do is use the deal to grow the brands, not their pockets.
Perhaps, after this humiliating lesson, those responsible for this merger will think twice before cutting salaries or positions, as they will have enough money to create more jobs instead.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters/Peter Nicholls