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Exclusive Every CEO knows it's impossible to be universally liked.

But when staff start cutting your brakes, maybe it's time to consider moving on.

The president of the European Patent Office EPO , Benoit Battistelli, has already been on the receiving end of an official censure from his board, a series of strikes, several highly critical news reports, and a zero per cent confidence rating.

That's right, such is the animosity toward Battistelli – who set up a special investigative unit to spy on his staff, suspended union officials, docked people's pensions, restricted sick leave and disregarded staff suicides as having nothing to do with restrictive new policies he introduced that are actually illegal – that the staff has seemingly taken to smashing up his bike and cutting his brakes.

Incredibly, however, despite an ever-increasing outcry against Battistelli and his executive team and several meetings of the EPO's Administrative Council focused solely on how to overcome the breakdown in staff-management communication, Battistelli is still refusing to budge an inch.

Despite being told to fix the situation and scale back the problems in March, Battistelli has instead proposed reforms that have angered staff even more.

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