Apple CEO tells employees he’s ‘optimistic’ in ‘stressful’ times

Apple CEO tells employees he’s ‘optimistic’ in ‘stressful’ times

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Apple CEO Tim Cook shows off a face shield Apple is making for medical workers.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been working from home during the COVID-19 crisis. He addressed Apple employees in a virtual town hall today.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

In a virtual meeting with employees on Thursday, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted that COVID-19 makes for an “uncertain and stressful” time, but he’s optimistic about the future.

Cook hosted Apple-wide meeting that let workers pose questions to Apple’s CEO about the effects COVID-19 is having on the company.

“If we stay focused on doing what we do best, if we keep investing, if we manage the business wisely and make decisions collaboratively, if we take care of our teams, if our teams take care of their work, I don’t see any reason to be anything but optimistic,” Cook told employees, according to Bloomberg.

When asked about layoffs during the crisis, the CEO pointed out that Apple can afford to continue paying its workers. And he said layoffs conflict with his policy of managing the company for the long term, not the short term.

Cook and his team have not yet decided when they’ll reopen company headquarters and other offices. But Cook said employees should expect to have their temperature checked for signs of COVID-19 infection. And there’ll likely be social distancing rules.

COVID-19 is stressful for Apple employees

The meeting brought together — virtually anyway — Apple employees at a time when the majority are working from home. This has caused a great deal of disruption, not least due to Apple’s customary high levels of secrecy. For the first time ever, Apple engineers have reportedly been working on new software and hardware from home.

Apple has also had to take steps to orchestrate the manufacture of new iPhones in China via FaceTime video calls.

Apple pitches in

The company is doing more during the coronavirus crisis than releasing the 2020 iPhone SE and iPad Pro. During today’s townhall meeting with employees, Cook said Apple has donated 30 million face masks and 2 million face shields. He also indicated Apple’s COVID-19 app has seem “millions” of users.