Who’s guilty for Teleperformance’s woes? Les Anglo-Saxons, bien sûr

“Typically it’s good to not have a mood,” mentioned Daniel Julien. “However typically issues need to be mentioned.”

Julien is founder, chair and CEO of Teleperformance, a Paris-listed operator of name centres and content material moderation farms. The corporate’s full-year results presentation this week was his alternative to vent — about press bias, paperwork and most surprisingly, the corporate’s investor base.

First, the back-story: Teleperformance shares plunged final November on information that Colombia’s Ministry of Labour was investigating allegations of poor office practices. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Forbes had alleged that moderators subcontracted by TikTok have been paid low wages to sift by means of distressing content material, and that the corporate had engaged in union-busting actions.

In response, Teleperformance instantly introduced an exit from “highly egregious” moderation and dedicated to improved rights for its 440,000 staff worldwide. An inside audit signed off by an unidentified consulting agency discovered no proof of wrongdoing in Colombia, the corporate mentioned in November. Bureau Veritas was employed to independently certify that operations in six different international locations met social duty pointers. (BV offered a qualified pass.)

Whereas talks with Colombian authorities continue, these public shows of contrition, self-examination and willingness to enhance have helped rebuild investor confidence. Teleperformance shares have rebounded to roughly the place they have been earlier than information of the investigation first broke:

Julien has a barely completely different perspective on occasions. Criticism is “unfair, unsubstantiated, loopy, storm-in-a-glass-of-water polemic”, he complained on the outcomes analyst meeting. The allegations got here “out of the blue out of nowhere” and have been “amplified” by events undefined, which has distracted administration “from its day-to-day activity for nearly three months.”

The Teleperformance presentation cited as proof of a cheerful workforce an employee internal survey and two consecutive mentions within the “Great Place to Work” listing. The deck additionally contains pictures of the cafeteria, chill-out space and free ice-cream fridge at its El Paso, Texas, workplace:

All of which proves “no actual hint of soiled exploitation prefer it was commented within the press,” Julien mentioned. He singled out a Forbes article — which alleged moderators have been skilled utilizing uncensored sexually specific photographs of youngsters — for particular criticism:

“The journalist who interviewed 5 – 6 ex-[Teleperformance] guys, who had labored in our centre at one level of time, did a wierd job I’ve to say. She may have interviewed possibly the hundreds of individuals working in El Paso and possibly she would have gotten one other story.”

Julien, 70, is an enthusiastic free-form public speaker. This week’s efficiency included off-the-cuff commentary on Teleperformance’s Colombia workplace (“I don’t suppose there may be one firm within the nation that has one thing as lovely”); succession planning (“I’m in nice form!”); the Bureau Veritas report (“I don’t know should you’ve ever been to high school however should you go to high school that is an A! Not a B!”); and disaster administration (the enemy “has eight heads”, so “kill kill kill kill kill”).

There was additionally some onstage smirking when Julien trailed off whereas speaking about his private enthusiasm for elevating the ratio of girls staff on the firm to 50 per cent. He wrapped up the assembly by thanking the viewers for taking two years of their time.

Such missteps are simply excusable. Precision and subtlety can endure when improvising, significantly in a second language. However what ought to we make of the presentation’s part on the butterfly impact, which was contemplated for lengthy sufficient to be made right into a slide?

Having skipped throughout the stage to mime out how a butterfly “flips its wing hundreds of miles away and he creates twister in Texas,” Julien returned to the lectern to clarify how this precept applies to fairness possession:

Take a look at what occurred. Quite simple. It has been focused on one nation, France. The share of the French shareholders has diminished from 20 per cent to 13 per cent over the time, which means there was a type of panic sale. And who took benefit of that? The Anglo Saxon. Their share is now 65 per cent. Their share of shareholding of the corporate is 65 per cent; plus 8 per cent. Reality. I allow you to make your individual conclusion.

Is the supposed conclusion right here that “Anglo Saxon” buyers have conspired with the press and/or Colombian authorities to shitbag a French champion with a view to constructing their very own positions on a budget? Or is there another, extra believable conclusion we’re lacking? Solutions welcome within the remark field.

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