NAOS CEO Insights



May 1, 2020

CEO INSIGHTS – Week Ending 01 May 2020 By NAOS Asset Management

“The luxury traveler will go to places in Australia they have never been, and there will be a patriotic call to arms to help the tourism industry” Simon McGrath, CEO, Accor Hotels Australia

As part of the NAOS investment process, we pay particular attention to the comments made by company CEOs and business leaders in order to gain a greater understanding of the current investment environment and key trends that may be emerging. Below are quotes from the week which in our view detail some of the most important and prominent industry trends and economic factors impacting their businesses.  


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“Through this crisis, the world's cloud and network infrastructure has delivered massive scaling to support vital workloads for businesses and consumers. Cloud delivered applications seen as convenience a quarter ago, such as online shopping and video collaborations have now become indispensable” Robert Swan, CEO, Intel Corporation

“We’ve seen two year’s worth of digital transformation in two months. From remote teamwork and learning, to sales and customer service, to critical cloud infrastructure and security” Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft Corp

“There is both an immediate surge in demand and systemic structural changes across all of our solution areas that will define the way we live and work going forward” Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft Corp


“The demand surge of a few weeks ago is undoubtedly calming, with many people returning to buying what they need and signs also suggesting that the average Australian household has almost 2 weeks worth of typical pantry items at home” Brad Banducci, CEO, Woolworths Group


“I think we've all learned in this environment how to work virtually and quite honestly, I think there'll be more of that. There'll be less of those business trips that are needed. And so I think you will probably see an inevitable decline in air travel” Stephen Squeri, CEO, The American Express Company

“We are in an unpredictable and fast-changing environment, and it is difficult to estimate when the situation will stabilise. But when it does, the commercial market will be smaller, and our customers’ needs will be different” David Calhoun, CEO, The Boeing Company

Freight & Logistics

“We’re taking some of the main deck seats off a few of our international planes to facilitate taking greater lift (freight) in the short term, and we’ll continue to use those resources where it makes sense, certainly for some time to come” Ed Bastian, CEO, Delta Air Lines Inc


“It’s an open secret in the industry that a number of major manufacturers set incredibly aggressive sales targets, placing immense pressure on their dealers to achieve these targets by reporting cars as sold, despite there being no end customer” James Voortman, CEO, Australian Automotive Dealer Association

Financial Services

“Clearly, if unemployment stays at the level it is at now, then you should expect lifetime losses across the entirety of the financial services sector that are greater than what you saw in the great financial crisis [GFC]” Jeffrey Campbell, CFO, The American Express Company


“The trend we’ve been seeing is everything linear [radio] moves to on-demand [streaming] ...This pandemic will accelerate that trend” Daniel Ek, CEO, Spotify Technology S.A.


“It is clear that there has been a seismic and most likely enduring shift in consumer behaviour away from traditional shopping centres to shopping online” Daniel Agostinelli, CEO, Accent Group Ltd

Tourism & Travel

“In the last 45 days, we have seen a 40% increase in bookings for 2021 compared with 2019. Only 11% of the bookings are from people whose 2020 trips were canceled” Heidi M. Allison, CEO, [online cruise marketplace]

“The luxury traveler will go to places in Australia they have never been, and there will be a patriotic call to arms to help the tourism industry” Simon McGrath, CEO, Accor Hotels Australia

“When intrastate tourism is opened up, there will be a huge boom for a lot of regional destinations and the natural flow of cross-border tourism will follow” Andrew Burnes, CEO, Helloworld Travel Ltd

Media & Advertising

“The decline in our Search and other ads revenue was abrupt in March, and although we’re seeing some early signs at this point that users are returning to more commercial behaviour, it’s not clear how durable or monetisable that will be” Sundar Pichai, CEO, Alphabet Inc [Google parent company]

Food & Beverage

“As pork, beef and chicken plants are forced to close, even for short periods of time, millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain” John Tyson, Chairman, Tyson Foods Inc [world’s 2nd largest food processor & marketer]

“People aren’t sitting at home drinking 10 times what they were before, which some of the anecdotes suggest. The reality is we [CUB] are half the market and beer sales have plummeted since March. When people are in isolation there are less drinking occasions happening among family and friends which results in underlying consumption being reduced” Peter Filipovic, CEO, Carlton & United Breweries


“In terms of insurance pricing environment, we expect that the industry rate trajectory will likely continue as the need for rate in certain lines exists. As previous downturns have demonstrated rate is typically more dependent on the insurance cycle than the economic cycle” John Roche, CEO, The Hanover Insurance Group Inc [global insurance company]

Important information: This material has been prepared by NAOS Asset Management Limited (ABN 23 107 624 126, AFSL 273529) (NAOS) for general information purposes only and must not be construed as investment advice. Certain economic, market or company information contained in this material may have been obtained from published sources prepared by third parties. Nothing contained herein should be construed as granting by implication or otherwise, any license or right to use such third party content without the written permission of the owner.


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