Cell C’s dos Santos apologises for ‘b*tch switch’ comment

He's been at the receiving end of a public storm after remarks that many described as 'objectifying' women.

Cell C CEO Jose dos Santos speaking on CliffCentral about women in the workplace. Picture: CliffCentral.com

JOHANNESBURG - Cell C boss Jose dos Santos has apologised to the public, and women in particular, for his recent remarks about women in the work place saying the kind of language he used shouldn't be tolerated in society.

Dos Santos has been at the receiving end of a public storm after remarks that many have described as "objectifying" women.

In a radio interview this week, he said Cell C employs "good-looking, smart women".

He also said women have a 'bitch switch'.

The cellphone network company boss says he regrets his actions.

"I really want to say that I absolutely apologise if I have offended anyone; clearly a lot of people have been offended, and it's a situation that I regret very much. It's one of those things where this kind of language cannot be tolerated in society."

LISTEN: Lessons for corporate SA from Cell C's 'b*tch switch' debacle

In the interview, dos Santos on CliffCentral was meant to discuss what strategy the company had adopted over the years to empower women.

But among his comments, he said African women have a higher tolerance than men in the work place, and that females have a 'b*tch switch'.

"They just have a different way of managing, they have a different way of engaging meetings and engaging with parties and it creates a different dynamic. If I can use the term on your radio station, women do have a b*tch switch."

LISTEN: CliffCentral interview with Cell C CEO

Dos Santos says he's not a misogynist and he believes that women are the key pillars of his organisation.

"I am not a sexist, and what people believe - very few people know me - many have criticised me, but if you look at what we have achieved in Cell C over the last three years, it's really about women empowerment. We really started, when I joined this company three years ago, to make it our pillar."

Dos Santos says his company thrives on empowering women.

Additonal reporting by Ziyanda Ngcobo