NAOS CEO Insights

CEO INSIGHTS – Week Ending 09 April 2020 By NAOS Asset Management

April 9, 2020

“When the pandemic subsides, as it will, job creation will be at the core of economic recovery” Andrew Bassat, CEO, Seek Ltd

CEO INSIGHTS – Week Ending 09 April 2020 By NAOS Asset Management

“When the pandemic subsides, as it will, job creation will be at the core of economic recovery” Andrew Bassat, CEO, Seek Ltd

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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“I’m not sure that in 2020 any car company can make an accurate budget today” Makoto Uchida, CEO, Nissan Motor Co Ltd

“The situation is quite clear: We’re not getting any revenues because we’re not selling anything” Jean-Dominique Senard, Chairman, Renault Group

"The coronavirus didn’t really have an effect on us until the last 10 days – then it stopped cold. I normally do 70 cars a week – last week I did 15. In April, it’s over. The pipeline is finished. The bloodbath will be April." Nick Strauss, Managing Director, Berwick Motor Group [Victorian private car dealership group]


“Every airline in the world has lost most of their revenue and that is a circumstance nobody ever thought they would be in” Paul Scurrah, CEO, Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd

Media & Advertising

“Television remains challenged; however, in the current COVID-19 environment, regional TV audiences have increased across all age groups” Market Announcement, Southern Cross Media Group Ltd


“We have received a number of urgent formal requests for authorisations from many sectors of the Australian economy” Rod Sims, Chair, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission

Financial Markets

“Financial market volatility has been historically high and many markets around the world have been dislocated. There are, however, some signs that markets are working more effectively than they were a few weeks ago. This improvement partly reflects the substantial measures undertaken by central banks” Philip Low, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia

“The investment-grade [capital] market opened up quite strong over the course of the last two weeks...Record issuance last week, record issuance for the month, record issuance for the quarter. And so, high-grade companies have had access” David Solomon, CEO, Goldman Sachs Group Inc

Chinese Economy

“McDonalds and KFC are reporting they have about 95 percent of stores open, some with slightly limited services, but they are back to about 90 percent of pre-COVID19 sales. Apple stores are open, Starbuck stores are open. So in China, we are really planning for the bounce. I think all businesses facing China should be thinking about that now” Mark Van Dyck, CEO, Compass Group Asia Pacific [world’s largest contract foodservice company]

“We are very pleased in the way China has come back so fast” Chris Salisbury, CEO, Iron Ore, Rio Tinto Ltd

Global Economy

“We don't know exactly what the future will hold – but at a minimum, we assume that it will include a bad recession combined with some kind of financial stress similar to the global financial crisis of 2008” Jamie Dimon, CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co

Global Retail

“We believe that the big change in consumer behavior that we are seeing now will further speed up the rapid digitalization of our industry. We also believe that focus on sustainability will grow even stronger since the need for business resilience has become very clear” Helena Helmersson, CEO, Hennes & Mauritz AB [H&M retailer]

“Frankly trying to forecast this is nearly impossible” Chip Bergh, CEO, Levi Strauss & Co

Construction & Infrastructure

“In most countries in which we operate, to date steelmaking, including its supply chain, has been viewed as an essential service and allowed to continue to operate safely” Mark Vassella, CEO, BlueScope Steel Ltd

Energy & Resources

“Clearly a number of sites right now across the [petrol station] industry are going to be challenged as we move through these sorts of demand destruction numbers” Matt Halliday, CEO, Caltex Australia Ltd

“We haven’t seen anything like what we are experiencing today” Darren Woods, CEO, ExxonMobil Corp


“Even as we continue to see large increases in daily data consumption, we are not expecting daytime data consumption to surpass the evening peak period” Stephen Rue, CEO, NBN Co Ltd


"To put this growth in context, as of the end of December last year, the maximum number of daily meeting participants, both free and paid, conducted on Zoom was approximately 10 million. In March this year, we reached more than 200 million daily meeting participants" Eric Yuan, CEO, Zoom Video Communications


“The situation we are in emphasizes the importance of community pharmacy playing a very active frontline role in the wider delivery of healthcare and the health of the community. This is precisely why a strong and healthy community pharmacy sector is a sizable part of any effective healthcare system” Stefano Pessina, CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc [world’s largest pharmacy chain]

“As you might expect, our pharmacies are not only facing the significant decreases in demand for medication, personal care and preventative or protective products, but also significant increase in people seeking advice and information from our teams” Stefano Pessina, CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc [world’s largest pharmacy chain]

Food & Beverage

“There will be more challenges and difficult business decisions to be made” Chris Kempczinski, CEO, McDonald's Corporation

View the NAOS CIO Letter to Shareholders COVID-19 Update
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.