Here’s an astonishing post from Kevin Rose, publishing an (anoymized) email from a friend of his who works for Apple in Japan.
In the aftermath of the quake and the tsunami, Apple Stores have become communication centres for those who can’t get through on the phone, and temporary accommodation for staff who can’t get home.
“You know how in disaster movies, people on the street gather around electronic shops that have TVs in the display windows so they can stay informed with what is going on? In this digital age, that’s what the Tokyo Apple stores became. Staff brought out surge protectors and extension cords with 10s of iOS device adapters so people could charge their phones & pads and contact their loved ones. Even after we finally had to close 10pm, crowds of people huddled in front of our stores to use the wifi into the night, as it was still the only way to get access to the outside world.”
“Apple told all of their staff – Retail AND Corporate – that they could go sleep at the Apple stores. The Senior managers at the stores had been notified earlier and unbeknownst to us, had gone out to stock up on food and drinks after the very first quake hit.”
Go read the whole thing, it’s a great summary of what Apple is doing to help out.
And for clarity’s sake, I should stress: I have no doubt many other companies are doing similar things for their customers and staff too. At times like this, people matter more than money, more than anything else. And I think the vast majority of CEOs understand that.