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Tag Archives: Patrick Naef

Update from Tom: Fake secrecy

A blog update from Mr Tom Burgess, former Senior Vice President of Emirates Group IT.

It is sad to witness the Emirates Group’s deterioration accelerating. The knee jerk and badly managed actions which I feared (but hoped would be avoided had Herr Mueller managed to get an early and firm grip on the organisation) are well underway, and probably unstoppable. I am sure that many of you would have seen a video of Herr Mueller’s interview whilst he was CEO at Aer Lingus and been impressed by his genuine understanding of the importance of people in any organisation. I certainly was. I felt that if anyone could turn Emirates around, then he could. But it was a big ask. He probably has the support of over 95% of Emirates’ staff – essential for someone wanting to make wholesale changes – but nobody would have underestimated the challenges presented within the remaining few per cent. When I struggled to get Patrick Naef to see (what I was convinced was) common sense, I often felt that I was ‘pissing into the wind’. Herr Mueller has probably been facing a hurricane over the past six months.

Patrick Naef’s communication (at the end of last month) to EG-IT staff is another example of corporate incompetence and duplicity. He trivialises events by suggesting that they are just part of a review “on the way we work” and avoids revealing the true size of yet another one of his crusades against loyal members of his department. He promises openness, yet proceeds in secrecy – some staff had already been forced out before the note was sent. His communication is so amateurish it would be seen as laughable, if the topic was not so serious. But I guess everyone would have allowed themselves a wry smile at Patrick Naef’s heart-warming promise to those leaving of his “support during the transition”. This is like being introduced, just as you are about to enter theatre for major surgery, to someone who will be on hand at all times to give you “every support” and then discovering that it is the Grim Reaper.

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Update from Tom: “Decayed”

Mr Tom Burgess, a former Senior Vice President of Emirates Group IT, is writing a blog about Emirates Airline of his own. Mr Tom has a unique perspective on what is going on inside EK management as he was once one of them until they’ve decided to fire all the good, honest and educated managers among themselves.

I am republishing Mr Tom’s posts for a while now. Here is his newest post about Patrick Naef, CIO and Divisional Senior Vice President of Emirates Group IT. This post should give you a perfect picture of one EK high position manager’s profile.

 

Decayed

The first day of February 2016 marks the start of a second decade of Patrick Naef’s uncontrolled leadership of IT within the Emirates Group. I assume he will mark the occasion with a few cakes, or similar, to share amongst those who have the misfortune to be close to him. In return he will expect a stream of compliments about what he has done, and how he has done it. The concept of a sycophants’ tea party springs to mind, though I doubt if everyone will find it possible to stoop that low.

Meanwhile the real workers in EG-IT (i.e. those who manage to keep the show going despite the lack of any coherent direction) will have to endure yet another day minimising the effects of continued decay. Perhaps they could find some light relief by completing a little anniversary quiz I have put together? Though I hope the answers will not add too much to the gloom.

 

  1. How many months would Patrick Naef survive in a management position in a company that had to adhere to employment laws?
  1. How many times has Patrick Naef lied?
  1. How much of Emirates Group’s money has Patrick Naef wasted?
  1. In his first five years in office, how many air miles did Patrick Naef clock up whilst on duty travel?
  1. How many times has Patrick Naef reported faults on his IT devices?
  1. How many people from the UK have resigned from Patrick Naef’s EG-IT, or have been forced to resign, or been fired, or been removed from their role or been demoted?  (An individual impacted in more than one category only counts as one.)
  1. How many times has Patrick Naef been given special treatment by the Emirates Group?
  1. How long will it take for Gary Chapman to understand the scale of wasted talent in EG-IT resulting from the management culture of bullying and cronyism?
  1. Has Patrick Naef ever put the needs of an individual in EG-IT above his own?
  1. How many times was Patrick Naef’s opinion challenged in 2010?
  1. How many times was Patrick Naef’s opinion challenged in 2011?
  1. If someone wanted to find out about Patrick Naef by searching the internet, when would they have found the more truthful picture – in 2010 or in 2011?
  1. How many managers in EG-IT regularly patronise Patrick Naef with praise and compliments, but consistently make disparaging comments about him to others?
  1. How many managers in EG-IT regularly express praise and admiration about Patrick Naef, both to him and to their colleagues, but subtly undermine him at every opportunity?

I suggest you archive your answers.  You can then review them in 2026.

Link to this post: http://updatefromtom.blogspot.rs/2016/01/decayed.html

Link to Mr Tom’s previous post about Patrick Naef’s big IT project and its devastating results: http://updatefromtom.blogspot.rs/2015/12/upper-case-lower-case-or-head-case.html


Update from former Senior Vice President of Emirates Airline

History of serious mismanagement in Emirates Airline lasts for many years now. Like in every basket, one or few rotten apples spoil the whole basket of fruit.This process manifests itself as systematic disposal of honest and ethical managers and staff, who are not willing to comply to rottenness. This process went out of control since Sir Maurice Flanagan left the rudder to others.

So what happens with one company when honest people leave? It is left with network of dishonest, incapable and weak managers who abuse the company and its staff to get profit and benefits for themselves, especially when they know that they have to leave the country one day. Of course, these managers are not capable to create, conduct and successfully finish most of their projects as most of the good and skilled people left or they are kept quiet, blackmailed and threatened with warnings and service terminations.

I already wrote about Ms. Anoma Manuel’s (former Divisional Vice President Airport Services) failed project with new ABC check in and boarding system. Ms. Anoma is so rampant that she decided to forcefully implement this project although the feedback on it was very bad. But, as Ms. Anoma told me once – her seniors are friends of hers. So, she is protected. And her bonus is protected. But who will protect the company and its staff from this kind of incompetent and bully managers? Who will stop the absurd waste of money on meaningless projects, which their innovators falsely present as “successful and useful” or they just cover all the traces of projects’ failures?

Mr.Tom Burgess's (former Senior Vice President in Emirates Airline) blog.

Mr.Tom Burgess’s (former Senior Vice President in Emirates Airline) blog.

People criticized me for asking Ms. Anoma about her salary. I was fired for asking her about her salary. But I would ask her again. And again. And again. Because she doesn’t care about the sufferings of her staff. She would rather waste huge amounts of company’s money on unnecessary projects, just to look good in her superiors’ eyes and to ensure her bonus, than to take care of her staff.

Unfortunately, she is not the only manager who wastes company’s money just as I am not the only former employee who writes the blog about injustices and management’s incompetency in Emirates Airline.

As I wrote at the beginning of this article, EK’s rotten management apples systematically spoil or get rid of their best managers. Mr.Tom Burgess is one of these managers. I will let you read his blog and decide about his intentions, skills and motivation. Today I want to re-publish his newest article which describes the exact mechanism on how managers waste company’s money on ludicrous projects while underpaying, bullying and punishing their hard working staff at the same time. This example is on the much higher level of management as Mr.Burgess had an important and responsible role in Emirates Airline.

Mr.Burgess was employed in higher management of Emirates Airline as Senior Vice President in EG IT department with Mr.Patrick Naef as Divisional Senior Vice President. On Mr.Burgess’s blog you can read everything on poisoned and backstabbing organisational culture in Emirates IT department, where Mr.Patrick Naef uses some questionable methods to get rid of all the managers who “stand on his way” of deceiving the top management about the real condition of his department.

DSVP of EGIT department

DSVP of EGIT department Patrick Naef

This is just the part of the article. You can read the whole article here.

No winner, many losers.

***

Seeing the many comments on the web about the way staff are treated in the Emirates group, including a focus on salaries, led me to do a rough calculation.  I believe that if the money wasted on Mercator Asia had been diverted to EKAS budgets, all ground staff could have enjoyed a 20% pay increase for every one of the four years of Mercator Asia operation.  And this is only looking at the cost of one failed initiative – try to imagine how much money has been poured into the IT drain over the last nine years!

The most odious of problems facing the Emirates group is the bullying of staff by managers, but perhaps the biggest issue is that front line staff, critical to the business, are overworked and underpaid.  But it would not be difficult to take a broom to the numerous support areas (not just EG-IT) and divert the proceeds to much better use.

***

Fundamental changes are essential, but some people are still thrashing around in the depths of the denial stage of the change curve.  At least there has been recognition that there is a major problem, but real progress will not be possible until some time is spent looking in the mirror.  It will take true leadership to get the ball of change rolling and then, when it comes, the really difficult challenges will emerge.

Mercator Asia project is mentioned very often at Mr.Burgess's blog.

Mercator Asia project is mentioned very often at Mr.Burgess’s blog.

Perhaps the biggest task will be to convince staff that the company is serious about change.  To illustrate this point, what will Patrick Naef need to do to persuade you to trust him?

And will anyone know what to do?  Adopting a policy of being open and honest will be a major start.  But, in my experience, the further people rise up the corporate ladder, the greater difficulty they have with the concept of being open and honest.  The line between what staff should be told (i.e. most things) and what they shouldn’t be (i.e. commercially or personally confidential information) is well understood by the majority of staff, but creates paranoia nearer the top.

And who will actually lead this essential change project?  Assuming someone who can be trusted is found, will they have the necessary skills?  Turning a corporate culture around is not a job for a bunch of external consultants, a genuine understanding of the issues is a prerequisite.  And he/she will also need the resolve to stand up to some pretty powerful figures, who I doubt will ever be genuinely convinced that a different way will be the right way.

However, the cause is far from lost because the company is blessed with tens of thousands of loyal, competent and hard working staff.  They want success for the company as much as they want it for themselves and I am sure they will be tolerant during what will be a lengthy process.  And for every bad manager in the company, there are numerous decent and capable managers.  They just need to be given more of a voice.

But delay is counterproductive.  As time moves on more evidence of the way Emirates treats its staff will emerge on the blogs and forums, more staff will resign, more careers will be wasted and more money will be poured down the drains of Dubai.

Posted by Tom Burgess at 22:37

 

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