Local biz leaders must take a cue from global corporate personalities | Sunday Observer

Local biz leaders must take a cue from global corporate personalities

12 April, 2020

 Sri Lanka should take a cue from business leaders and celebrities around the world who have volunteered to forgo their  salaries, perks and privileges  to support the battle against the deadly virus, retired former business personalities said.

“Those who have extended a helping hand as founders and CEOs have set a precedent instead of ramming ‘make sacrifices’ down the throat of the employees,” a retired corporate personality said, adding that sacrifices should be made at a time when the world is going through a rough patch, but asking your subordinates who do not have the same luxury to bear the brunt is not fair.

The management of certain top conglomerates in the country announced a series of cost cutting measures including pay cuts between 5 to 60 percent for executive cadre and board members last week.

According to sources some of the executive cadre salaries are in the range of Rs. 50,000 leaving a take-home salary of around Rs. 40,000 after all deductions have been made.

“The management of companies should look at ways and means of  cost saving rather than opting for easy way outs such as pay cuts and lay-offs which should be the last resort,” a former CEO of an export entity said. 

Some of the biggest names in the business world such as Jack Ma, the co-founder of Alibaba Group, Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and Bill Gates, the co-founder and co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have pledged contributions.

Organisations that conduct business based on the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) principle focus on social and environmental concerns just as they do on profits. The TBL posits that instead of one bottom line, there should be three: profit, people, and the planet.

Jack Ma pledged $14 million through his Ma Foundation to help develop a coronavirus vaccine. He’s also donated 1.1 million testing kits, six million masks, and 60,000 protective suits and face shields to 54 African countries; 500,000 testing kits and one million face masks to the US; one million masks to Japan; and 1.8 million masks and 100,000 testing kits to Europe, including Italy and Spain.

Brooklyn Nets owner and Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai has teamed up with the Chinese government to donate 1,000 ventilators to New York City.

Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and founder of Square, is donating more than a quarter of his wealth for Covid-19 relief. Dorsey, on his Twitter feed, said he was moving $1 billion of his Square shares, or about 28% of his net worth, to Start Small LLC for pandemic relief.

Bill Gates, co-chairman  and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation  has contributed $100 million through his foundation to aid global detection, isolation, and treatment of the virus.Celebrities too have been doing their part to help since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Singer Elton John launched a $1 million coronavirus fund to protect people with HIV.

Donatella Versace and daughter Allegra Versace pledged 200,000 euros to a hospital in Italy.

Justin Timberlake donated to Mid-South Food Bank, located in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

 Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively said they’re donating $1 million to Feeding America and Food Banks Canada.