If you’ve ever resented the money that top CEOs make, this might provide some insight.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce was speaking to hundreds of people at a business breakfast in Perth, when his speech was rudely interrupted by a man shoving a pie in his face. The pastry-wielding perpetrator stealthily approached Joyce from behind, smashed the pie on to his surprised face, and walked off without a word.
When you’re getting paid $12.96 million a year, you don’t stand stammering just because you have lemon meringue pie fogging your glasses. “I don’t know what that was about. Excuse me, I might take a break for a second,” said Joyce with remarkable poise for a man who’d just been treated like a Charlie Chaplin side character. He then walked off the stage.
The pie bomber, meanwhile, was apprehended, and held in a room while the police arrived. He was later taken in for questioning, but the motives are still unclear.
Joyce didn’t let his unexpected brush with confectionary come in the way of a good speech. He returned soon after, looking fresh and scrubbed, and continued talking about “Leadership Matters.” “If there are any more pies, can you please get them out of the way now?” he even joked before starting off afresh.
“When you’ve been the CEO at an airline for nine years there’s a lot of things that happen over that period of time, this is different, but it’s not unusual,” he told media after the event. Which sort of shows why CEOs are paid the ridiculous sums that they are — if a man doesn’t bat an eyelid after being pied on stage in front of hundreds of people, you know he’s been through some seriously gnarly stuff.