The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MillerKnoll is under rightful scrutiny after a video which leaked on April 16 showed her getting mad at employees for worrying about their bonuses.

Andi Owen, the CEO of MillerKnoll, told employees to “leave pity city” in reference to them worrying about receiving bonuses. This is very hypocritical coming from her because according to National Public Radio (NPR), Owen made $3.9 million for the fiscal year of 2022 on top of her fixed salary of $1.1 million.

“Spend your time and your effort thinking about the $26 million we need and not thinking about what you’re going to do if you don’t get a bonus, all right? Can I get some commitment?” Owen said in the video.

This is very typical behavior of CEOs that really needs to stop. They seem to care about the bottom line while not being appreciative of the workers who made it possible for them to be in their position.

Owen’s words were especially insensitive to workers whose families are struggling to make ends meet. Why shouldn’t they worry about how much money they are making in the year? It is perfectly reasonable for people living paycheck to paycheck to be concerned about how much money they need to make a living.

Owen apologized to her employees in an email on April 19.

“I want to be transparent and empathetic, and as I continue to reflect on this instance, I feel terrible that my rallying cry seemed insensitive,” Owen wrote. “What I’d hoped would energize the team to meet a challenge we’ve met many times before landed in a way that I did not intend and for that I am sorry.”

I am all for forgiveness and I truly appreciate that Owen took the time to apologize to her employees. I hope that her reflection is genuine and that she learns to be grateful for the workers who made it possible for her to be in a position of power.

It is not the CEOs that make the products that people love, but the workers underneath them. Without the workers there would be no products for people to enjoy and there would be no money for the CEOs to hoard. 

CEOs have not earned the respect they are given and until they treat their subordinates fairly they do not deserve a high amount.

I am glad that Owen sees how her words can affect people and I am even more glad to see that the common worker is no longer taking abuse from their bosses.

It is my deepest hope that Owen takes this a very big learning experience and treats her employees fairly in the future.

Nico Brazill can be contacted at

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