Whether a company makes movies in Hollywood or makes deals on Wall Street, Accenture (ACN) CEO Julie Sweet thinks that “every business is now a health business” in the coronavirus era.
With COVID-19 cases closing in on the 16 million mark globally, the reality for the C-suite has set in that the pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon.
Sweet, who oversees offices in more than 50 countries, believes that as top executives grapple with the extended length of the crisis, they are also weighing what decisions to make right now for eventual success, once a treatment or vaccine is found.
“What we're also seeing broadly across the world are CEOs moving from, ‘how do we get a handle on managing the health crisis,’ to ‘what are the strategic decisions we now need to make,’ because this is going to be a crisis no matter where you are in the world,” she told Yahoo Finance’s All Market Summit: Road to Recovery, last week.
“It is not going to end until there's a vaccine or a better treatment. And so how do I actually now pivot to growth, how do I build my business differently?” she asked.
CEO’s are cautious
Accenture clients include more than 3/4ths of the Fortune Global 500. Sweet told Yahoo Finance that even countries that aren’t facing large coronavirus case increases are nervous about the fall.
“I will tell you there is no more optimism and a different view of the criticality of the strategic decision making that now faces you, whether you're in Japan or Europe, China or the U.S.,” she said.
“It is a common theme. And that's just the reality of what businesses are facing today as they look at the length of this crisis,” she added.
Even countries in Europe that are faring better than America aren’t putting concerns about the balance of the year aside.
“The conversations I've had as recently as earlier this week with some of our clients of our European CEOs is that they're concerned that, for example, as they go into the holiday season, that they may see the very same spikes,” according to Sweet
“I guess what I would say is most of our CEO clients are actually very cautious about what for example, is going to be the story in September after the European holidays,” she added.
Jen Rogers is an anchor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @JenSaidIt.
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