Tony Blair meme. Photo supplied

Trouble in paradise: Mutiny at the WEF

Klaus Schwab has been at the helm of the World Economic Forum for more than half a century. Recently, there has been strong criticism against him coming from his own ranks.

Published: January 23, 2023, 7:33 am

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    On this issue, a group of current and former WEF staff contacted the British newspaper The Guardian. They complained that the 84-year-old Schwab acted on his own and surrounded himself with “nobodies” who were incapable of leading the organisation he founded in the early 1970s.

    He was in no way accountable to people inside and outside the organisation, said the anonymous group. “We are reluctant to go public, as Klaus has many connections and can make our lives very difficult, even if we leave the WEF,” it said.

    The WEF staff group said it posted a critical piece on LinkedIn, but it was removed at the request of the World Economic Forum, something the organisation denied.

    The piece included a statement that WEF leader Klaus “was a law unto himself” and that the board was an “adder’s nest”. Staff expected the board members to clash once Klaus dies. The WEF’s nepotistic governing statutes guarantee members of the Schwab family a position of authority in the organization. The Schwabs also hold a veto over whether WEF can be shut down.

    As it stands, Schwab’s daughter is a trustee, his son is a member of the managing board, and his wife runs a foundation closely connected to WEF.

    Schwab “has a god complex, and thinks he’s in the fittest 0.1 percent. But no one is immortal,” an American veteran of 20 Davos conferences told Politico.

    The 29 sources Politico had contacted, including WEF corporate strategic partners, current and former staffers and members of the forum’s committees and communities almost all feared repercussions from talking to the media about Schwab’s reign.

    British former prime minister and architect of the Iraq war, Tony Blair has been tipped as a possible successor to Schwab.

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