Covid-19: What Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon and Microsoft CEOs are saying about their companies and efforts
Here’s a compilation of what the CEOs of Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Apple have said in the past few weeks regarding Covid-19.
Covid-19 pandemic has not just put the world on a standstill but has been impacting economies worldwide, leading to extreme crisis situations for certain businesses. The governments are leaving no stone unturned in spreading the awareness and curing the effected ones. However, the bigger task is being handled by technology giants like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon. Since their services and devices are omnipresent in today's world, they have a bigger hand in keeping the spread in control, updating users about the latest news, letting them stay in touch with each other, streaming content without facing snags and even working together to track who are effected so they can be quarantined.
But while all of them are user centric, what are the CEOs running these massive tech firms saying about their companies and efforts? Here's a compilation of what the CEOs of Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Apple have said in the past few weeks regarding Covid-19.
Alphabet and Google CEO, Sundar Pichai on Covid-19: Pichai sent an email to Google employees this Wednesday (April 17) stating that areas of cost cutting since all the firms are being hit with Covid-19 lockdown and Google is no exception. What was highlighted in the letter were areas of cost cutting wherein the company will be "recalibrating the focus and pace of our investments in areas like data centres and machines, and non-business essential marketing and travel."
"The entire global economy is hurting, and Google and Alphabet are not immune to the effects of this global pandemic," Pichai wrote in the letter. "We exist in an ecosystem of partnerships and interconnected businesses, many of whom are feeling significant pain."
That said, Google has taken several steps towards curbing the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the coronavirus crisis began, Google has offered $800 million in grants and customer credits, and donated more than 4,000 Chromebook laptops to schools, teamed with Apple for contact tracing and has updated several of its websites while introducing a new dedicated site on Covid-19. The company asked staff to work from home globally in March, and has said it is covering wages and benefits for contract employees who work in its offices for a certain period. It has not announced any job cuts.
Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos on Covid-19: Bezos, in an annual letter shared with the company shareholders, talked about steps that the firm will take to curb the coronavirus. This includes shutting down non-essential services like Amazon Books, overhauling processes at Whole Foods and more. The company is already testing its employees regularly and is in the process of building its first testing lab as well.
"Regular testing on a global scale, across all industries, would both help keep people safe and help get the economy back up and running. For this to work, we as a society would need vastly more testing capacity than is currently available," Bezos said in the letter. The e-commerce company has even shifted training protocols "so we don't have employees gathering in one spot, and we've adjusted our hiring processes to allow for social distancing."
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg on Covid-19: Zuckerberg's social media giant Facebook, announced a measure to help spread credible information about the Covid-19 pandemic. The company will now show messages in News Feed to users who have liked, reacted or commented on misinformation on the Covid-19 that it has taken down.
"We want to connect people who may have interacted with harmful misinformation about the virus with the truth from authoritative sources in case they see or hear these claims again off of Facebook. People will start seeing these messages in the coming weeks," said Facebook in a post.
In a separate post, Zuckerberg said that Facebook has expanded its fact-checking coverage to more new countries and is working with 60 fact-checking organisations which are currently reviewing content in more than 50 languages.
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella on Covid-19: Nadella, in a letter shared with employees late last month, thanked them for their efforts to help the company and its customers during the crisis. He also pointed out some of the initiatives undertaken by the company to help enterprises, governments and individuals around the world.
"We are in uncharted territory. Much is unknown, and I know how unsettling and uncertain this feels. Like many of you, there have been times over the past weeks where it has felt overwhelming and all-encompassing for me. I worry about the health and safety of my family, my co-workers, and friends. My wife and I worry for her aging parents, who are far away from us in India. I see the struggle in our local community, and around the world, the empty streets and restaurants, and I wonder when our social fabric will be restored," Nadella said in a LinkedIn post.
Microsoft has launched a new Power Platform template to help customers share information and collaboration. He revealed the template has already been installed by more than 2,000 customers. It has been added that Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection is being deployed to prevent cybercriminals from exploiting the Covid-19 related email phishing campaigns and other hacks.
Apple CEO, Tim Cook on Covid-19: Like Google's Sudar Pichai, Cook also said that Apple "isn't immune to worldwide economic trends," in a company-wide virtual meeting this week. But he was confident that the tech giant will emerge strongly from the crisis situation.
"If we stay focused on doing what we do best, if we keep investing, if we manage the business wisely and make decisions collaboratively, if we take care of our teams, if our teams take care of their work, I don't see any reason to be anything but optimistic," Cook said to the staff.
As for potential job cuts, the CEO added that Apple currently has a strong financial position and it has been already paying retail employees even while the stores are closed.
Apple is expected to launch four new iPhones later this year. However, given the situation, rumours hint that the launch for certain iPhones might get delayed.
Written with agency inputs.