Updated Jun 11, 2020 - Axios Events

A conversation on CEOs navigating unchartered waters

On Thursday June 11, Axios media reporter Sara Fischer hosted a live, virtual event on critical decisions CEOs have made around company values, layoffs and surviving economic turbulence with Accenture CEO Julie Sweet and CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo.

Julie Sweet said Accenture has maintained pay equity by hiring an outside adviser to annually review the company's pay policies and immediately act to correct any imbalances found.

  • On what companies can do to immediately advance equity: "Addressing pay and equity is completely within our control as companies."
  • On companies that were positioned to transition to remote work: "[Before COVID-19] the top 10% of companies that had done digital transformation were performing twice as well as the bottom 25%. Overnight, that gap has become almost a chasm because those who had invested in advance were able to adjust much more quickly to everything going online."

Larry Merlo discussed CVS Health's response to COVID-19, from turning drive-throughs into testing sites and how the company has adapted to a predominantly remote workforce.

  • On the response to COVID-19: "[CVS Health] was able to scale within 30 days...We're not doing testing from within the store, we're doing it from our drive-through. And we now have tested more than 400,000 individuals."
  • On managing a remote workforce and transitioning back to in-person operations: "We probably had about 20-25% that work from home. But since the March timeframe, we have close to 90%...we're working to bring those colleagues back in a very phased approach, working with the guidelines established by state governors."

In a View from the Top segment, Axios CEO & co-founder Jim VandeHei spoke with SJR CEO Alexander Jutkowitz about the evolving role of leadership in the private sector.

  • "Leadership used to be sort of dynamically thinking about what's good for your organization...The reality now in a post-COVID environment is that it's a form of servant leadership. You have to care about the world at large. You have to care about the people inside of your house and outside of your house."

Thank you SJR for sponsoring this event.

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