Most people, even CEOs, consider work-life balance an admirable goal. And the idea that workplace connections and time together away from the desk boost performance is gaining more and more traction.
But Ivan Glasenberg, the CEO of newly-merged mining and commodities trading giant Glencore Xstrata PLC, expects constant work and cutthroat competition from his employees.
The Wall Street Journal asked the 57-year-old CEO if his company had work-life balance. His response? “No. We work. You don’t come here to take life easy. And we all got rich from it, so, you know, there’s a benefit from it.”
Glasenberg himself is not exempt. He says if he didn’t set that kind of example, the guys below him would go to the board and try to get him fired because they’re shareholders too.
Those who slow down at Glencore are shown the door. Glasenberg says that all of the heads of trading divisions he’s seen during his time at the company have been “kicked out from below.”
“I see it happening,” Glasenberg told The Wall Street Journal. “Some guy suddenly decides: ‘I want to take it easier, I want to spend more time with the family’… an attack will come.”
This kind of cutthroat, competitive, nonstop work culture is not uncommon at trading companies. But Glasenberg’s description makes things sound pretty extreme.
Further, the $66 billion merger between Glencore (where Glasenberg has been the longtime CEO) and mining giant Xstrata only just closed last week after a protracted series of negotiations with shareholders.
There’ll be enough difficulty bringing the two companies together without what seems like a difficult work culture.
The likelihood of significant layoffs won’t do much to boost morale.
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