Global HR round-up

Volkswagen HR director resigns amid corruption claims

European car giant Volkswagen (VW) has accepted the resignation of its high-profile HR director. Peter Hartz offered his resignation to the VW supervisory board after being linked in the German press to alleged corruption at the company. The scandal was triggered last month with the resignation of Helmuth Schuster, the HR chief at VW’s Czech arm, Skoda. Schuster allegedly took bribes from potential suppliers and used phoney companies to secure lucrative VW contracts abroad. Bernd Pischetsrieder, chairman of the Volkswagen group, who will temporarily take over HR responsibilities, said: “By offering to resign, Hartz is bearing the political responsibility for the irregularities of individual employees that have been uncovered in recent weeks. We respect the offer, which Hartz has made to divert damage from the company.”

FBI agents go back to school for leadership training

The FBI is sending staff to the Kellogg School of Management in Illinois in the US to improve their leadership and management skills. Kellogg has designed an executive education programme for senior staff, analysts, supervisors and special agents. It covers areas such as decision-making, change management and strategic thinking. Leadership is also another key focus, especially as the FBI was severely criticised after the September 11 terrorist attacks for failing to respond to warnings from its own agents. Daniel Diermeier, professor of competitive practice at Kellogg, said: “From a course design point of view, it’s similar to working with a private company.” The training programmes are expected to continue for several years.

Missourians dubbed laziest employees in United States

Workers in the US state of Missouri are the laziest in the country, according to research. A survey of 10,000 workers by internet service provider AOL and website Salary.com found that Missourians waste an average of three hours and 12 minutes a day. The results were broken down into a number of categories, including gender, age, industry and geography. The top five US states for slacking were Missouri (3.2 hours per day), Indiana (2.8), Kentucky (2.8), Wisconsin (2.8) and Nevada (2.7). But Missouri governor Matt Blunt disputed the findings. “Nobody can match the work ethic of Missourians,” he said. “This survey – which our busiest citizens did not want to waste their time on – cannot undermine decades of experience. Missouri workers are among the most productive in the world.” 

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