Is it ever right for corporate leaders to publically swear? That's the question being asked this week after one European airline chief executive dropped the f-bomb in an interview while describing the European Union (EU) ruling against the world's biggest tech company.
Never knowingly understated, Michael O'Leary, the boss of budget Irish airline Ryanair, made headlines for saying that the Irish government should tell the EU to "f--k off" after it ruled that the country had to claw back $14.5 billion in back taxes from Apple.
Professor Yehuda Baruch from Southampton Business School at the University of Southampton, co-author of a 2007 study that found swearing in the workplace is not always a bad thing, told CNBC on Friday that the line between what kind of language was appropriate for a CEO was not clear cut.
"When a CEO swears, this suggests something about the organizational culture of his or her firm. It legitimizes the use of profanity, and might be a precedence for other employees. Yet, using swear words adds power to certain messages, grab attention, and for some population may make you 'cool' – if this is what the CEO is looking for," he noted.