Management by Intimidation and micro-control
The CEO, who had been with the company all his working life, and had no other working experiences treated everyone with distrust and dislike - under a veneer of charm. I learned when interviewing his employees that no one wanted to be promoted, feeling that they were preserving their jobs by staying under the radar. No one wanted his help and tried avoiding him where ever possible. Really competent people left the firm as soon as they could find other work, and mediocre people kissed up to him and kept their jobs.
Since all the money came from state funding, apparently they have been able to get away with mediocre people doing as little as possible for a very long time.