Bezos, Cook, Musk, Hastings … This is how CEOs see the era of coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook. (Reuters)

The pandemic and the confinement caused by the COVID-19 have altered the lives of companies. This is what the leaders of the business giants think and how they see the changes that the disease is leaving:

Darren Woods – Exxon Mobil

“Despite the instability and volatility, I believe that the fundamentals that sustain our business remain strong. Why do I say that? We know that in the coming decades the world population will reach 9,000 million people, from the current 7,000 million. Billions will reach the middle class and look for lifestyles that will require energy. The economies will expand again. Of course, there will be potholes along the way, but historically the periods of contraction have been followed by others of significant growth. ”

Tim Cook – Apple

We will continue workingEveryone is getting used to doing it from home. In some departments of our company, people are being even more productive. In other areas they are not so much, so it is a mixture that depends on the roles of each one”.

Jeff Bezos – Amazon

“If you are an Amazon shareholder, it is probably best if you feel because we are not thinking small. Under normal circumstances, in the second quarter of the year we would expect to generate some 4,000 million operating profits. But the current ones are not normal circumstances. So that we are going to dedicate those 4,000 million, and maybe something more, to expenses to continue bringing the products to our customers and to keep our employees safe.”

Elon Musk – Tesla

“It is time to think about the future and ask yourself if it is okay to violate the rights of the population, as is happening right now. The population is going to be very very angry about it. If there are people who prefer to stay home, great. They should be able to stay home and shouldn’t be forced to leave. But to say that they can’t leave the house and that if they do they will be arrested is fascism. It’s not democracy. It’s not freedom. Give people back their FREEDOM.”

Satya Nadella – Microsoft

“While COVID-19 affects our work and our lives, the digital transformation has advanced two years in just two months. From remote teamwork to sales and customer support to cloud infrastructure and cybersecurity, we help our clients stay on track in a remote world. There is an upturn in demand and at the same time a structural change in our solutions departments that will define the way in which we work and live from now on”.

Chris Kempczinski – McDonald’s

“We have little certainty of what the recovery will be like. The world is going to be different after this crisis, and we hope that all those changes will become permanent.”

Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook

“At a general level, I think that during a period like this there are many new things that we have to build. And I think it is important now that more than putting the brakes on, as many companies are doing, we continue to invest and build for the new needs that will arise for people, covering everything that those other companies are not going to be able to provide. In some respects, that is an opportunity, but in others, it is a responsibility to continue investing in the recovery of the economy.”

James Hackett – Ford

“I have been in this industry for 26 years and have never had a business plan called a ‘pandemic’. We were never going to imagine that the economy would have to hibernate. There is no future if we do not have an economic system that can always continue to operate. We had not noticed that there was a shutdown button. We knew we could go into recession, a lever to slow down, but not to turn everything off. As I see the crisis, the first thing is a stabilization that allows operating and recovering costs. In parallel, we are working with the mentality of not wasting this crisis”.

Daniel Ek – Spotify

“When I look forward, both in the short and long term, I always think about what Spotify’s role in the ecosystem might be. And while much of our efforts are focused on competition in streaming services, we continue to keep an eye on the millions of people who listen to traditional radio. The trend of the last 20 years is that analogue dies and that on-demand services win. It is a trend that we believe will accelerate with the pandemic. Time at home has caused less time in the car, changing the listening trends of the population. That’s when many have discovered streaming services. Spotify is in the best position to capitalize on this change. The fact that we offer them a fully customizable experience makes them stick around.”

Sundar Pichai – Google

“The first quarter had two streams. Our advertising business was strong the first two months and then in March revenue was significantly reduced. Spending on ads will go in parallel with the return to economic activity.”

Ramon Laguarta – Pepsi

“We have to be cautious and not make too many forecasts. When the economies open then we will be free and companies will be able to regain activity. With some exceptions, broadly we expect consumers to return to pre-crisis habits and gradually move towards the new normal. As behaviors evolve, we expect to see a gradual improvement in supermarket or gas station sales, as people return to their jobs and as long as the large concentrations in theatres or stadiums continue to adjust.”

Reed Hastings – Netflix

“In March we had subscriber growth. Our forecast is that the figures for the next quarters will be relaxed compared to previous years because many people will have advanced their subscription”. “But at the moment we are trying to avoid the forecasts. We use them to see where the wind hits, but lightly because it is complicated. In any case, will the consumption of Internet entertainment be more important in the coming years? Regarding that nothing has changed”.