BrewDog is set to have an independent review after hundreds of ex-employees accused the brewer of creating a “culture of fear”.
Writing on LinkedIn, chief executive James Watt said he would appoint an independent agency to investigate “our culture and people practices to ensure we can make positive and inclusive change”.
The move was in response to an open letter from former BrewDog workers, known collectively as Punks with Purpose, who blamed Watt for allowing a “rotten culture” to flourish where staff were mistreated “without repercussions”.
Watt said that employees who had left in the past 12 months would be offered an exit interview, claiming the company would “welcome all feedback as an opportunity to improve”.
“In the hard and fast environment of high growth, I have all too often neglected many important people elements of our business,” he admitted.
Punks with Purpose, which has seen the signatories on its open letter increase fivefold since it was published last week, said BrewDog often used “mistakes as “the basis for self-promoting LinkedIn posts”.
“While we hope this statement can bring some measure of closure to former staff, we have seen hollow apologies in the past,” the group wrote on Twitter.
“We will now be watching BrewDog and expecting to see immediate and significant change.”
The news follows the departure of multiple executives in what some commentators have seen as a #MeToo-style movement in the craft beer industry.
Connecticut Valley Brewing sacked director of sales Jeff Nelson in May, who had been accused of sending suggestive photographs to female employees.
A day later, Modern Times founder Jacob McKean resigned as chief executive after taking “full responsibility” for overlooking multiple harassment allegations.