A company director makes some controversial comments, say on a social media platform such as Facebook or Twitter. These comments are made from their personal account in their personal time, and have nothing to do with their work or the company. However, their profile lists their job title as, "Director at ...".

Do these personal views represent the company in any shape or form?

  • 1
    Q: Do these personal views represent the company in any shape or form? A: Yes. The directors job is at risk. How much risk depends on the quality of the lawyers involved. Apr 20, 2017 at 10:30
  • @mhoran_psprep How would the job be at risk when the views are clearly personal and non work-related? Technically you are not representing the company outside of work, it is a personal non-branded account. Apr 20, 2017 at 11:16
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    To see how much backlash you can get over your personal views when running a company, check out the story of Brendan Eich, who had to step down 2 weeks after becoming CEO of Mozilla over something he did 6 years before he even started working there.
    – Erik
    Apr 20, 2017 at 13:45
  • If a low-level employee went into a local fast-food restaurant wearing their company uniform and started a brawl, are they representing the company? The answer to that question is the same as the answer to your question. Apr 20, 2017 at 15:45
  • @JonathonCowley-Thom That situation is different from my question, the employee is wearing the company's branding which is sort of representing the company. In my question the director is not representing the company in any shape or form. A more accurate analogy would be if a low level employee working at McDonalds gets into a brawl with someone outside of work hours and not wearing McDonald's clothing and nowhere near their workplace, then does that employee represent McDonald's at that particular time? Definitely not as there is no association. Apr 20, 2017 at 15:59

3 Answers 3


Do the personal views of a company director represent the company?

That depends:

  1. If the company director has made it clear that they are using a personal social media account and that "their views are personal and any comments are not as a representative of the company", then they are almost certainly not representing the company.

  2. If the company director is using a company account, or has used the company name or branding as part of their social media identity, then it is quite possible that the comments will be construed as representing the company.

By your description, these comments are on a personal non-branded account (although they do include the company name in their profile's employment status, this is not necessarily using the company brand), so situation one applies. However:

They can still cause problems for the company

While the company director's comments are not a representation of the company, they are a reflection of that company. Depending on exactly what that director said, the company's brand could become severely damaged merely by association.

  • Interesting... would it be any different if it was a normal employee who made the comments rather than the director? Apr 20, 2017 at 8:59
  • Pretty much the same kind of thing applies, except chances are the company will come down harder on the employee than the director in order to "protect the brand"
    – HorusKol
    Apr 20, 2017 at 10:09

From a legal standpoint, putting a suitable disclaimer stating that the views do not represent the company may be sufficient to keep the company away from consequences. However, that depends on local laws and often also on what exactly was said, and can best be answered by a local lawyer.

The general public, though, may not care about such disclaimers. People rarely compartmentalize things like those based on logical rules. In fact, it is nowadays more common for controversial statements to be dragged out of context to suit one's personal agenda or to score political points.

If the CEO of Acme Corporation says, "I absolutely hate X group. All X group people should just die in hell. Of course, this is my personal opinion, Acme Corporation is always delighted to serve X group people.", I cannot imagine group X people thinking, "Oh right, that's just his personal opinion, so no problem, let's buy a lot more stuff from Acme to delight him."


The phrase "these views are my own and not those of employer" are there to protect the company, they are not there to protect the employee.

They allow the company to distance themselves from the mild opinions of the employee. But if the linkage between the employee and the company is strong, or the comments/actions of the employee are especially toxic then the company will have to discipline the employee. That discipline could go as far as termination, but would be based on the contract or employment agreement between the employee and the company.

The level of discipline, and how public the discipline is, is related to the level of protection the company needs.

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