This is strange indeed! Less than 10 years ago, Hasso actually made very positive comments about SAP employees!
”Confidence arises out of many factors, and in this context emotions are more important than things that can be measured rationally. That may sound surprising for an IT company but how people perceive things is all-important.... Whether that can be justified objectively is, ultimately, irrelevant.”
“in a company [SAP] that depends in large part on the innovativeness and creativity of its employees, social factors also play an enormous role. The self-assurance of employees and the confidence in the company's ability to continue to innovate are necessary requirements for long-term success...”
Not sure why Hasso talks about pretzel, it is not helping in the self assurance of employees. Maybe the pretzel is a dramatic expression to explain some of the management’s decisions.