Crisis can bring out the best or the worst in people. This can be said for corporate leadership too. Over the last three weeks, our Company Alerts on the Bloomberg Event Impact App and on our Coronavirus Panic Index dashboard received alerts about Corporations, CEOs, Corporate Executives and Board Members that have considered the well-being of their employees and community above profits.
Clothing retailer Lululemon committed to paying its employees for March and is offering Global Relief Pay, intended to pay employees unable to work due to illness. The event alert below shows a spike in Lululemon Athletica's social media conversations and a high impact score. indicates high potential for change in consumer behavior due to the topic discussed. The Columbia Sportswear CEO has continually reduced his salary to ensure retail employees could continue to be paid.
Philanthropic acts are also appearing in abundance.
The companies mentioned above have taken a significant hit to revenues since retailers closed doors to the public in mid-March, yet they are giving to the community.
In contrast, the news about Amazon, run by CEO Jeff Bezos, is not as favorable. Amazon and Whole Foods (owned by Amazon) are facing employee strikes because of unsafe working conditions. Workers are seeking safer conditions including: protective gear, additional breaks for hand washing, paid sick leave (unpaid sick leave is available without penalty). News reports about Amazon and its response include firing an executive and a recent internal memo leaked to news media about Amazon. To date, the dominant public emotional response is focused on how Amazon employees are being treated during this crisis.
Over the last several weeks and in response to several events, the public has expressed that it will remember how companies conduct business during this crisis including how employees are treated. While it may not impact revenues immediately, consumers are responding emotionally. They are responding by pledging loyalty to companies that put their employees' health and well-being ahead of profits.
Cognovi Labs is an AI-powered emotion analytics company, which fuses machine learning with behavioral psychology to measure the public’s emotions and predict consumer behavior. Its products are geared toward businesses, investment firms, creative agencies and media.
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