Bill Michael, chairman of KPMG UK, has apologised for telling consultants to “stop moaning” during a discussion about the impact of the pandemic on their working lives.
The Financial Times reports the comment was made during a virtual town hall among KPMG employees, who told Michael of their concern regarding potential cuts to their pension contributions, pay and bonuses.
In an apology email to employees, seen by the FT, Michael said: “I know that words matter and I regret the ones I chose to use today. I think lockdown is proving difficult for all of us. I am very sorry for what I said and the way that I said it. Covid has hugely impacted the way we all live and work — many of us very deeply.
“I can only imagine what you and your families are going through and what you’re continuing to contend with each and every day. Having endured my own experiences, I should have appreciated the impact it’s having on all of us.”
Speaking to the FT, he added: “I am sorry for the words I used, which did not reflect what I believe in, and I have apologised to my colleagues.
“Looking after the wellbeing of our people and creating a culture where everyone can thrive is of critical importance to me and is at the heart of everything we do as a firm.”