Hong Kong HR Masterclass Series: 27th March Strengthening the mental resilience and wellbeing of employees -
improving employee engagement, talent retention and organisational productivity.
Register now here
What did Sir Richard Branson do exactly to land himself in hot water with his own IT department?
He sent an email containing the word “bollocks”.
Branson used the word in an email to Virgin Atlantic’s CEO Craig Kreeger, but was surprised to find the email wouldn’t send after he received a bounce back from his IT department informing him it was deemed a swear word and was offensive.
In his blog, Branson expressed his annoyance with his own company and asked if anyone else had ever fallen foul of “an overzealous IT system”.
He also explained how many years ago he won a court case proving the word was not profane or offensive.
“A Nottingham record store displayed The Sex Pistols’ masterpiece, Never Mind the Bollocks, and the police took us to court, claiming ‘bollocks’ was a derivative of ‘testicles’,” he wrote.
“The person who was defending us recommended that I contact a linguistics expert. So I rang up a linguistics professor at Nottingham University and explained the situation.
“He said: ‘What a load of rubbish. Bollocks has nothing to do with balls.’ In fact, he told us, it was a nickname given to priests in the 18th century.”
Branson ended his post by saying that Kreeger loved the story, and they are both working together to turn around the decision from their IT department.