Tony Danker, sacked CBI boss says his reputation has been destroyed

After being terminated due to complaints about his conduct, the former CEO of the CBI asserts that his reputation has been completely destroyed. Tony Danker acknowledged that he had made some staff members feel "extremely uneasy" and added, "I apologize for that."

However, he claimed that his identity had been incorrectly associated with separate allegations, including rape, that allegedly occurred before he joined the CBI. The CBI did not comment, but stated that he was fired for strong legal reasons.

In his first interview since his dismissal on 11 April, Mr. Danker stated that his termination letter cited four reasons. First, organizing a private and secret karaoke celebration for 15 people after the Christmas office party. Second, examining the Instagram accounts of CBI employees, third, on work messaging platforms, sending non-work-related messages to employees and fourth, inviting subordinate employees to brunches, lunches, or one-on-one meetings.

Mr. Danker acknowledged that some employees may have found his approach to work unsettling, and he apologized for that, but he did not believe his dismissal was warranted immediately. Instead, he asserted that he was made "the fall guy" for a larger crisis that had engulfed the CBI. 

He stated that he has never used sexually suggestive language with the CBI employees. Mr. Danker mentioned that there was no physical contact he ever experienced, there was no explicit language and that he did not propose to anyone. Sexual harassment, according to Alison Loveday, an employment counsel at Lockett Loveday McMahon Solicitors, is unwanted sexual conduct.

The lobbying group faces multiple allegations in 2019, including substance use and a serious sexual assault that is being investigated by City of London police. Mr. Danker stated that his reputation has been "totally trashed" as a result of the fact that these allegations surfaced mere weeks after the CBI disclosed that it was investigating separate allegations of misconduct against him.

According to the CBI, Mr. Danker's dismissal followed an independent investigation into specific workplace misconduct allegations against him. Mr. Danker confesses to having viewed the Instagram profiles and stories of "a very small number of male and female CBI employees." He said he understands why some people felt it was improper for him to view their obviously public Instagram stories.

The invitations to subordinate employees for lunches and breakfasts were part of the Shadowing Programme, a CBI mentoring initiative. Mr. Danker stated that he invited both male and female employees to discuss their professions. Mr. Danker recalls that people suggested the "private" karaoke concert after the CBI Christmas party in 2021. He stated that the room he reserved for 15 guests was the largest he could get.

He emailed everyone saying 'here's the address' and 'no cameras allowed' because everyone told him that they didn’t  want to be filmed singing karaoke. When asked why he elected to address the public, he responded, that he would prefer not to speak with the media.

However, Mr. Danker mentioned that It is not acceptable to throw someone under the bus and make them the scapegoat when their entire reputation is ruined.