CEO DailyCFO DailyBroadsheetData SheetTerm Sheet

An energy CEO considers how to ‘reopen’

April 29, 2020, 12:59 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez want to pause mergers and acquisitions, men’s and women’s tennis could come out of the pandemic as a single organization, and an energy CEO explains how she’s tackling the question of reopening. Have a nice Wednesday.  

– An energy CEO considers ‘reopening’. An especially-pressing question these days is how and when to reopen business. It’s being debated at the state and federal level in the U.S., with individuals firms having to contend with resulting the patchwork of policies. One CEO navigating the maze is Duke Energy chief executive Lynn Good, No. 19 on Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women list, who spoke with Fortune‘s Susie Gharib in an interview published Monday.

Good took a stab at the overarching question of reopening, walking Susie through Duke’s approach. It starts—like so many things these days—with a in-house task force, which will evaluate how to bring employees back to their physical workplaces in a manner Good described as “gradual, staggered, deliberate, thoughtful.” Safety of employees, she says, is the guiding principle.

“I see scenarios where we’re staggering hours, we’re staggering days, different states are coming back at different times,” she said. Duke is already employing temperature checks and voluntary coronavirus testing of employees who aren’t working from home—those at power plants, for instance—to give workers “confidence” about their own wellbeing, and she expects those practices to continue, at least in the short term.

Communication too is key. Duke has created videos, podcasts, and open forums to keep employees informed, and it’s gone as far as sending fliers to workers’ homes as a way to share safety information with their households. “We’ve found that family members are also concerned,” she said.

No doubt it’s an unprecedented time for any leader, with no event in modern history providing a blueprint for how to respond. Good says she’s narrowed her focus; it’s two-fold—taking care of customers and taking care of employees. In times of crisis, she says, “priorities become very clear, very quickly.”

You can watch the entire interview here.

Claire Zillman
claire.zillman@fortune.com
@clairezillman

Today’s Broadsheet was produced by Emma Hinchliffe

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

- Professorial expertise. Harvard Business School professor Rebecca Henderson has long tried to get American business leaders to realize that there's a cost to gutting the social safety net. The impact of the coronavirus crisis has prompted more people to embrace her ideas for reimagining capitalism, Henderson tells Fortune's Katherine Dunn. Fortune

- United to press pause. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez collaborated on a long-shot proposal: halting all corporate mergers during the coronavirus crisis. The pair worry that while small businesses struggle, large companies could expand their hold on the U.S. economy. Bloomberg

- Trapped on the ticket? The Cut's Rebecca Traister writes about what she dubs "The Biden Trap." The sexual assault allegations brought against the presumptive Democratic nominee by former staffer Tara Reade—and new corroboration of those allegations, which Biden denies—are emerging at the same time as Biden finalizes his female VP pick. Whichever woman ends up his vice president will be "drinking from a poisoned chalice," writes Traister. The Cut

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

- Cloud competitors. With usage surging, video-chat service Zoom needed more cloud infrastructure. The company chose Oracle, led by CEO Safra Catz, for its new cloud deal, rather than Microsoft or Amazon. CNBC

- Tale of two leaders. This piece compares and contrasts the recent leadership of President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The pair were "never destined to hit it off," but their responses to the global pandemic have made clear exactly how different they are. Bloomberg

- Grand slam. One possible outcome of the coronavirus sports shutdown? The merger of men's and women's tennis. Roger Federer brought up the idea, long championed by Billie Jean King, on Twitter this week. King says that "it's the right thing for the sport" and that the current crop of men's players are so different than the male athletes who rejected her proposal decades ago. New York Times

- All about Kayleigh. Curious about the new White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany? Read this profile to learn about how she got on the Trump train early, when a friend (and a Democrat) advised her that backing the then-longshot candidate would help her stand out. New York Times

ON MY RADAR

Coming soon: New fiction from Simone de Beauvoir New York Times

Oprah Winfrey is the class of 2020's official commencement speaker, thanks to Facebook CBS News

Nannies tell the truth about working during the coronavirus The Cut

Alaska Girl Scouts received PPP loan for lost cookie sales Fortune

PARTING WORDS

"This is going to save someone’s life and I want it to be perfect."

-Trina Bird, a Ford factory worker now manufacturing ventilators