Behind the Resignation of Funabashiya’s President: “A Single Email” Sent to Employees | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Behind the Resignation of Funabashiya’s President: “A Single Email” Sent to Employees

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
Masashi Watanabe of Funabashiya, the company that caused the collision fiasco (Photo by Asahi Shimbun)

I don’t want to be suspicious, but there is a possibility that media representatives are interviewing the customer in the guise of a customer. It is important that we do not comment on this matter while responding to the customer in a manner that is not disrespectful. Even if it is a personal opinion, the response during work may be reported as “Funabashiya’s” opinion.

This is part of an e-mail sent by Funabashiya, a 217-year-old Japanese confectioner that sells “Ganso Kuzumochi,” to its employees.

A video of Masashi Watanabe, 58, the president of Funabashiya, driving a car that rear-ended a passenger car, threatening the other driver, saying, “What the hell are you turning around for?

On September 27, the company issued a statement in which it largely admitted the facts, and on September 28, it announced that it had received a resignation offer from Mr. Watanabe himself and would accept it. This has caused a major uproar.

Mr. Watanabe, who caused the accident, is the eighth president of the company and has made numerous media appearances since assuming the position in 2008. In May 2008, Mr. Watanabe was interviewed by the business magazine “Weekly Economist” and described the situation at the time he became president as follows.

There were a number of staff members with unclean hairstyles, which was unacceptable to me as a former banker. (omission) The craftsmen also rebelled against my hard-line approach, and I found that 80% of them had quit. I believed that my way was the right way, and I often cursed them, saying, “You people are no good.

He further explained how he came to change his attitude toward his employees.

I was surprised when a consultant told me, “If you want to build a good company, you should stop calling your employees ‘you guys’ and ‘them. A manager who looks down on his staff who are working very hard will not improve the company. It made me realize that I was a bad manager.

However, the environment within the company did not seem to have changed much. A current Funabashiya employee tells us.

To be honest, there were many problems at the company before, such as power harassment. In fact, Funabashiya does not even have a labor union. It is not clear if the current turmoil by the president is the trigger, but I heard that six manager-level employees have resigned from among the 26 stores.

In the midst of this turmoil, an e-mail was sent simultaneously from the company to all Funabashiya employees.

As is already well known, we have received numerous remarks, mainly on the Internet, regarding the traffic accident caused by President Watanabe.

Although we have already reached a settlement with the other party to the accident, the accident and the inappropriate language and behavior at the accident scene are generally true, and we apologize for any concern and inconvenience this may cause.

After apologizing to the employees, the email went on to discuss the “possibility that media representatives may have been interviewing the company by posing as customers,” and moved on to the topic of “measures to be taken.

Please accept our apologies for the concern we have caused you and let us know that the service we provide is the same as before. Please also apologize that you are unable to provide a detailed response.

Please inform them that the issue is being handled at the head office, and please do not respond directly to them.

It appears that the company is only concerned about preventing information leaks and further inflammation.

When this magazine asked Funabashiya to confirm the facts, it found that “it is truly regrettable that a text message intended for internal use has been leaked to outside parties,” but the company admitted that the text message was sent internally.

When asked, “Is it true that six manager-level employees out of 26 stores have resigned? ” to which he replied, “This is our company’s personnel information, so I will refrain from answering in detail.

The furor, which has even led to a boycott campaign on the Internet, is now underway. Will the situation be resolved with the resignation of the president?

Photo Gallery1 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles