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Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg Pivots Strategy During COVID-19

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg talks with Yahoo Finance about how he pivoted the company's strategy to continue service its customers during this unprecedented times and what Verizon has also done for its employees. Nobody has ever seen a crisis like this, "there is no playbook," said Vestberg.

Video Transcript

HANS VESTBERG: Well, I think we started off very early on having a conversation what would be important in this crisis. This crisis is a crisis nobody's seen before. There are no playbooks. I mean, it's not like a bank crisis or a telecom crisis or something that I've been experienced before. This is a crisis on health. People are dying from it. It's the health and safety of people, which is totally different.

And then, of course, that pivoted into an economical downturn. Then, of course, on top of that, we got the racial injustice. So it's a very broad set of crises outside our company that we need to think about how we're dealing with. So the first decision was that, hey, we need to see that we take long-term positive decision for all our stakeholders. And we have a stakeholder management with customers, shareholders, society and employees. And we needed, we understood that whatever decision would take right now will follow us for years. So we need to think about long term.

That's why we prioritize our employees extremely high in this [? beginning. ?] The safety and health of them. Remember, we have all our stores, our field engineers being out there every day. Not all our employees could be home and doing remote work. So we needed to really prioritize that. Then we need to prioritize our customers. There will be customers are not able to continue their, to pay their bills. The infrastructure is second most important infrastructure in the country after health care.

So we decided we're not going to disconnect anyone, any consumer or small to medium businesses because of non-payment, and we are working with all of them in order for them to see that they can continue to refinance. And we even have taken away charges, given them more data. That was important decisions. But not only that, for our own employees, who work a lot with communication.

And some of the viewers might know that we run a daily webcast. We have done that since February for all our employees. We have had days where we've had more than 100,000 employees tuning in. I was live myself for nine weeks basically every day. Nowadays, they only bring me there once a week, because they're tired of me. But it was a way to communicate and do things different and right in a time where the nation really needs it. So that is just couple of things we have done.

And of course, we're extended all the care-giving, leave, et cetera, with full pay, because this is unprecedented times. And our employees going to remember this time, our customers going to remember, this society is going to remember it. And clearly, our shareholders will remember as well. So we just need to see that we manage all of the four stakeholders, and that's how we're set up to [INAUDIBLE].