California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Friday the formation of an 80-person task force to develop economic recovery strategies amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — and that group includes at least one or two well-known Hollywood executives.
Disney executive chairman Bob Iger and Apple CEO Tim Cook will participate in the task force, which will be co-chaired by billionaire investor and philanthropist Tom Steyer.
“We recognize that if we are going to learn anything from the past, it’s not to repeat the mistakes of the past and have a sustainable mindset, not just a situational mindset,” said Newsom in a press conference. “In terms of how we recover, it is in the ‘how’ we recover that I think ultimately we will be judged, and judge ourselves, and I think that is the spirit of the group of people and advisers we’ve put together.”
Iger said that Disney’s two priorities were “getting people back to work,” and offering customers positive entertainment experiences.
“But we also know that we need to be really smart in how we re-open our business, so that everyone can feel safe — both our employees and our customers,” said Iger during the press conference. “In order to achieve this balance, we think a collection of protective measures are likely necessary. We stand ready to implement them when available, and to do everything we can at the Walt Disney Co. to restart our business under safe and reliable conditions.”
Iger said that he would contribute what Disney had learned to the economic task force.
Former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, and Service Employees International Union president Mary Kay Henry are among the other leaders that have joined Newsom’s group.
The task force will be divided into categories, including entertainment, hospitality, retail and manufacturing. Newsom said their work will be supplemental to the existing economic groups already devising economic strategies for the state.
Newsom added that he wanted to make sure the results of the task force were “actionable” and “meaningful,” that included loans, grants and other “financial mechanisms” to fuel economic recovery.