When major corporations have done something to anger Chinese authorities in recent years, the playbook has called for one thing: an apology…
“Dean Crutchfield, CEO of the crisis management firm Crutchfield + Partners, said Morey’s tweet, well-intentioned as it was, could cost the NBA billions. He wondered if a parting of the ways between Morey and the Rockets would appease China.
“You need to fire him and you need to fire him fast,” Crutchfield said. “China needs a statement, and for him to still be in his job is remarkable. I think Silver did a remarkable job with his statement, but this is a senior official, well aware of the importance of the Chinese market. One man, one tweet.” Here’s a link to the article.
“Agency experts, including a former communications executive with the league, say its initial public response inadvertently juiced the crisis….
With that in mind, Dean Crutchfield, CEO of Crutchfield + Partners, says the NBA should have exercised another option: dismiss Morey. Crutchfield says other employers would find rogue commentary of a sensitive geopolitical nature grounds for termination, especially if it was about a critical and growing geographic market, regardless of how well-meaning the message.
“If a senior executive and important representative of Apple came out with a remark like that about their most successful business unit, that executive wouldn’t be there anymore. It simply wouldn’t be tolerated in a corporate environment,” states Crutchfield. “It was one man, one tweet; they should have fired him and fired him fast.”
If they had, instead of making a statement about democracy and free speech, the NBA would have addressed business protocols and guidelines in relation to social media.
“The statement would read something like, ‘This is not how our people behave on social media, uncontrolled and with no regard for their professional responsibility. His personal opinion should have been kept to himself given the platform he has being part of this organization,’” says Crutchfield.