Burger King CEO insults British women during speech to students

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Burger King restaurant in London, England

Bernardo Hees, the CEO of American fast food chain Burger King. was caught insulting British women during a speech to students in Chicago. Hees was talking to the university students about his time at the University of Warwick in England.

He compared the United States to Britain by saying "[h]ere the food is good and you are known for your good-looking women." He then spoke about the UK by saying that "[t]he food is terrible and the women are not very attractive."

A spokesman for Burger King released a statement after Hees' comments were reported by the US press. "Mr. Hees apologises if his comment has offended anyone. It [...] was intended as a humorous anecdote to connect with his audience," the statement said.

Hees' remarks have caused controversy in the United Kingdom. Charli Fritzner, who is a women's campaign officer at the University of Warwick said that "[i]f he views women as potential distractions in academia, I wonder how he views them in the workplace?" She added, "It doesn't make Burger King an attractive employer for women".

Hees joined Burger King in October of last year. He oversees the company's 11,500 stores worldwide.