By ; Basel Khaled
Like many other global businesses, Ericsson has also been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. With the safety of employees top of mind, Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm shares below how Ericsson is working to ensure its mobile networks remain a critical backbone for public services, businesses and families worldwide.
We are all facing an unprecedented challenge with the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on our everyday life. Our absolute highest priority is the safety and wellbeing of our employees, our customers and our partners. And we are working hard to do what we can to contribute to the efforts to contain and slow down the pandemic.
In a time of crisis, information and communication are critical. Mobile networks are an essential part of the communications backbone that enables health workers, public safety officials and critical businesses to stay connected during this global crisis. We also see that working from home will be the new normal. Mobile networks are increasingly recognized as a critical infrastructure.
Our engineers and field staff are part of critical teams deployed during a crisis. Even when a country goes into lockdown, our engineers are still active in order to keep the networks up and running. We salute and honor them!
We are continuing to stay close to our customers to understand their needs, and we are doing everything possible to support our customers to maximize their network capacity and performance.
As of today, all Ericsson’s production sites are up and running. This means that the short-term impact of the coronavirus on our supply chain has been limited to none. Looking ahead to the future, we believe we have a resilient supply chain, with production capabilities in multiple regions. We also have access to components and other materials to keep production up and running. But naturally the shutdown of countries runs the risk of impacting our logistics chains.
We have built up a strong balance sheet and a competitive product portfolio. This will allow us to weather this crisis but more importantly to continue to invest to emerge as an even stronger company. We have a long-term focus in all we do.
Taking care of our people
In this time of crisis, we are prouder than ever of our people who help us connect the world. We have the best people in the industry and a culture of being inclusive, generous, and good-hearted. And we do not succeed unless everyone working for Ericsson or doing business with us returns home safely to their families every day.
As a global company with around 100,000 employees and presence in 180 countries, we are aware of our responsibilities towards the societies where we operate.
The increasing number of people infected by the virus has touched Ericsson. As of now, a few of our colleagues have been confirmed with COVID-19. We hope for their quick and safe recovery. We are urging all our employees who can work from home to do so, in order to keep their colleagues as safe as possible. And if employees have to be in the office, we require proper social distancing.
I want to thank all my colleagues doing an outstanding job keeping our operations strong and up and running.
We have very little knowledge about this virus and about the impact it may have on ourselves and our loved ones. Many people are worried about the future. We must take their fear seriously, but we cannot let it rule our actions. We need to plan for this to be a long fight. And it is a fight we are all in together.
Above all, I believe that in times of uncertainty, we need to demonstrate humanness and empathy in every conversation we have, in every decision we make, and every action that we take.
Let’s take care of ourselves, and each other.