JAL - What a CEO Example
It seems as though JAL President and CEO Naruka Nishimatsu is a great example of a hard working, just and fair CEO. According to a recent interview by CNN Reporter, Kyung Lah, we can see that JAL's CEO is way different than most of the CEOs we have in North America and probably around the world. Take a look at the interview below and if possible share your thoughts with me. It will be something interesting to talk about - do you believe Nishimatsu's lifestyle and work ethics should be followed by more CEOs across the globe?
KYUNG LAH, CNN REPORTER: After his morning commute on the city bus, Haruka Nishimatsu heads into the office and gets busy at his desk with the rest of his Japan Airlines coworkers. At lunch, he lines up in the cafeteria and hopes lunch doesn't get too cold as he waits to pay. Not exactly the glamorous life you'd expect from the CEO of one of the world's top ten international airlines. Is it so strange, asks Nishimatsu.
HARUKA NISHIMATSU, JAL PRESIDENT & CEO: I don't think so. So strange, deska.
LAH: Perhaps that's why when JAL slashed jobs and asked older employees to retire early, Nishimatsu cut every single one of his corporate perks, and then for three years running slashed his own pay. In 2007, he made about $90,000 U.S., less than what his pilots earn.
LAH: "The employees who took early retirement are the same generation and age as me. I thought I should share the pain with them, so I changed my salary." Nishimatsu shrugs it off, saying it's not a big deal.
LAH: But that certainly stands in contrast to this: CEOs in the United States being grilled by Congress over perceived corporate excesses, ballooning salaries and bonuses. When we mentioned to Nishimatsu that the top paid U.S. CEOs make tens of millions, in some cases nearly $200 million a year, and yes, that's in dollars...
NISHIMATSU: (IN JAPANESE) Dollar? In U.S. dollar. Ahhh.
LAH: Can you imagine making that much?
LAH: In Japan, says Nishimatsu, there's less of a pay gap between the top and the bottom. "We in Japan learned during the bubble economy that businesses who pursue money first fail. The business world has lost sight of this basic tenet of business ethics." Nishimatsu says his airline has a long, difficult recovery ahead. As far as his pay, he's dug into his savings like the rest of us.
NISHIMATSU (TRANSLATED): The air conditioning broke, and the water heater, and the car. My wife is still telling me, "This is all your fault."
LAH: But relating to what his employees and his passengers are feeling and living in the global slowdown might be the ticket to his airline's own survival. Kyung Lah, CNN, Tokyo.