A Message from our CEO
March 23, 2020
The last several days have been the most difficult in my 21 years as CEO of our organization. It is unbearable to watch closures and cancellations happen at such rapid rates, knowing that there are more to come, and realizing what it means to our business and most importantly, to our people.
When students can’t attend school, we are forced to close cafeterias. When fans can’t attend sporting events, we must close concessions. When employees can’t go into their office, we have to shut dining operations.
We are the leader in foodservice, hospitality and support services, and yet, because of the spread of coronavirus, we can’t do what we do best; serve great food and provide unsurpassed support services. Many of our partners have taken their own dramatic actions; measures which directly affect all of us.
My goal now is to position Compass Group for future success, because I believe we will get through this. I also want to ensure we are doing everything we can for our people by avoiding permanent job losses. In order to do this, we have made the extremely difficult decision to place some associates, in all functions of the business, on temporary leave, or furlough. I want you to know this is not about profit or numbers, and it’s not something I take lightly. We are taking this measure so we will ultimately be in a position to hire back our associates as quickly as possible. In order for us to have a future after coronavirus, I believe it’s our only alternative.
We have worked around the clock to come up with several measures to help our associates during this time. Most importantly, we are committed to allowing all of our associates enrolled in a Compass Group medical plan to keep their benefits, regardless of their work status. We are looking for opportunities to move displaced associates into open positions in other sectors near their homes. We are also assessing the possibility of temporarily matching displaced Compass associates with large companies that currently need help.
While the situation feels overwhelming, every step we take is done with a focus on how we will move ahead, and I ask that each of you do the same. We have always been a company inspired by a sense of purpose, and now more than ever, that purpose is clear to me: helping our clients and our associates get back to work in the communities we serve.
Chief Executive Officer
Compass Group North America