Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is calling on CEOs to take a 90-day “no layoff pledge” as part of an eight-point plan to end the coronavirus crisis.
Benioff’s plan, which he tweeted, includes steps to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, which has wreaked havoc on the global economy as governments around the world shut down “nonessential” businesses to try to stop the virus from spreading. Those shutdowns have led to surging unemployment. Last week, US jobless claims surged to a two-year high.
Following his thread, Benioff tweeted Salesforce’s own layoff pledge, though, notably, he said that it would not conduct any “significant” layoffs — versus banning them altogether.
Benioff has long been vocal on social and political issues, touting his belief that business is the greatest platform for change, and his plan includes measures for both private companies and governments.
The first step is for everyone to stay home for 20 days. San Francisco, Benioff’s hometown and the location of Salesforce headquarters, was among the first counties in the US to issue a shelter-in-place order, prompting mandatory work-from-home for everyone who could do it and shutting down all nonessential businesses that depend on physical locations.
Benioff’s next steps focus on addressing the medical and safety concerns the coronavirus brings up. Right now, hospitals worldwide are facing a shortage of masks and other protective gear, like gloves, which healthcare workers at the front lines need to keep themselves healthy as they treat patients.
Benioff urged the government and corporations to establish a supply-chain management system for protective equipment and to ramp up production of therapeutic medicines, while keeping a database of how patients respond. The federal government should issue guidelines for treatments, he said.
Next, Benioff mentioned accelerating the creation of COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccines typically take years to make, but many organizations are working as fast as possible to stop the spread of the disease. According to the World Health Organization, there are about 40 coronavirus vaccines being developed right now.
Benioff wrote about testing as well. Test everyone, he said, including people who may have already had it. After weeks of delays and stumbles, testing capacity in the US is finally starting to increase noticeably in recent days.
Once those steps are done, Benioff recommended releasing workers who have not shown symptoms and developing a way to keep testing frontline workers, presumably like doctors, nurses, and delivery drivers. He also calls on every CEO to “take a 90 day ‘no lay off’ pledge.”
Layoffs have already started in earnest in recent weeks, particularly in the travel and the hospitality industries, and President Trump said on Monday that he wanted to restart the US economy by ending shelter-in-place-orders as fast as possible to stem job losses.
Originally posted on Business Insider