Mutiny breaks out among WEF staff over ‘Mr Davos’ role – The Guardian.
Published on 22.1.2023
A mutiny breaks out among WEF staff over the role of “Mr. Davos”.
The Guardian reports that the future of Klaus Schwab – Mr Davos for more than half a century – became a topic of discussion at this year’s meeting after World Economic Forum employees voiced strong criticism of of their president and the absence of a succession strategy.
A group of current and former WEF staff who contacted the Guardian said Schwab, 82, was a law to himself and had surrounded himself with ‘people’ unable to run the organization he founded in the early 1970s.
“Klaus has been at the head of the WEF for 52 years. When he was born [en 1938], 122 of the 195 states in the world today did not even exist. He is not accountable to anyone, inside or outside the organization,” the group said.
“We are a group of current and former WEF employees. We want to play our part in promoting debate on the role this organization plays in the world. »
The group said it wished to remain anonymous. “We are hesitant to come forward because Klaus has a very good relationship and can make life very difficult for us even after we leave the WEF. »
Speculation over Schwab’s future intensified this week after that an article in the online publication Politico stated that the WEF’s strategic partners – the companies that fund the $390m (£315m) a year activity – were unhappy with the lack of a succession strategy.
The WEF staff group said they posted their criticisms on social media platform LinkedIn, but were taken down at the request of the WEF, which the organization denies.
The messages, shared with the Guardian, read: “There is not much future for the WEF after Klaus, not only because there is no clear successor, but also because his council of administration is such a nest of vipers that the senior leaders will be at each other’s throats by the time the old man leaves. »
A WEF spokesperson said: “The Board of Directors decides on any future appointment of institutional leaders. The forum has a strong institutional governance structure to ensure its continued ability to fully support its mission. »
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is one of the most prominent international figures who have been associated with this role.
The group of former and current WEF employees questioned the ability of the organization to function without Schwab at the helm.
“In most organizations, the next generation of leaders is dimly visible at the upper levels of management, but at the WEF, Klaus has surrounded himself with such a group of nobodies at the top that it’s hard to see how the one of them could be taken seriously by anyone important inside or outside the organization.
“Klaus chooses his leaders according to the same criteria that Putin used to choose Duma deputies: loyalty, cunning, sex appeal. The quality of people at the top is a reflection of the type of people working for the rest of the organization. »
The head of a British company admitted that no successor to Schwab seemed to be on the horizon. “I feel like he’s going to die with his boots on,” the leader said.
Another longtime Davos attendee said he was surprised Mr Schwab had let speculation about his future surface. “To be honest, I find it a bit disrespectful [étant donné tout ce qu’il a fait], but he should have known it was going to happen and took steps to avoid it. »
The World Economic Forum is a Swiss foundation and has no shareholders.