AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes: Virtual Meeting Massage Sparks Controversy

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes: Massage during a virtual meeting sparks controversy

In the age of virtual meetings and remote work, what is considered appropriate during a professional meeting has taken on a new dimension. The latest controversy to hit the corporate world involves Tony Fernandes, the CEO of AirAsia. In a recent social media post, Fernandes shared an unconventional experience during a virtual meeting that raised eyebrows and sparked a debate on professionalism.

A Snapshot of the Incident

On October 16, Tony Fernandes posted a picture on LinkedIn that portrayed him shirtless, sitting on a chair, receiving a massage while engaged in a virtual meeting. In the accompanying caption, he expressed appreciation for the Indonesian culture, which, he claims, allows for a simultaneous massage and management meeting. While Fernandes seemed to view this as a cultural expression, the internet had mixed reactions.

The Cultural Appreciation

In his LinkedIn post, Fernandes stated, “Was a stressful week and Veranita Yosephine suggested a massage. Got to love Indonesia and AirAsia culture that I can have a massage and do a management meeting. We are making big progress, and I have now finalized Capital A structure. Exciting days ahead. Proud of what we have built and never have lost sight of the finish.”

Fernandes’ intent appeared to be praising the culture’s ability to incorporate relaxation into work. He was appreciative of his team’s accomplishments and the progress they’ve made.

The Mixed Reactions

The social media post garnered significant attention. As of the last count, it received 703 responses, 96 comments, and 42 reposts. The reactions were diverse, ranging from understanding and humor to harsh criticism.

One user expressed their concern, saying, “You could have wrapped up the meeting and then had your massage. I don’t think in a civilized culture this seems appropriate.” This perspective highlighted the debate around maintaining a sense of professionalism during virtual meetings.

Understanding the Controversy

The incident raises questions about the evolving boundaries of professionalism in the digital age. As remote work becomes more prevalent, the lines between personal and professional life blur, and norms for online meetings are continuously evolving. What some view as a cultural expression, others may see as a breach of professionalism.

The Broader Discussion

The controversy surrounding Tony Fernandes’ virtual meeting is a reflection of the broader conversations happening about the new normal in work culture. As remote work and virtual meetings become fixtures of the professional landscape, defining and adhering to best practices is more essential than ever.


The incident involving Tony Fernandes and his virtual meeting massage serves as a stark reminder of the changing dynamics of professionalism in the digital age. What is clear is that virtual meetings have brought with them new challenges and opportunities in how we define professional conduct.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Is it appropriate to have a massage during a virtual meeting?

The appropriateness of actions during a virtual meeting can be subjective. While some may view it as a cultural expression, others may find it unprofessional.

2. What was Tony Fernandes’ intent in his LinkedIn post?

Tony Fernandes expressed his appreciation for Indonesian culture, where a massage and a management meeting can occur simultaneously. He also shared his excitement about the progress his team had made.

3. How did the internet react to Tony Fernandes’ post?

The internet’s reaction was mixed. While some found it humorous or culturally understanding, others criticized it as inappropriate for a professional setting.

4. What does this incident reveal about remote work and professionalism?

This incident highlights the ongoing discussion about the boundaries of professionalism in the digital age, particularly in the context of remote work and virtual meetings.

5. How are virtual meetings changing the landscape of professional conduct?

Virtual meetings are redefining the norms of professional conduct. As remote work becomes more common, understanding what is considered professional behavior is evolving.

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