Palo Alto CEO forgoes salary, commits to ‘no COVID-19 layoffs’

Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora mentioned Tuesday on CNBC that he will forfeit his salary and maintain staff as portion of the community security provider’s coronavirus reaction strategy.

“We have committed to no COVID-19 layoffs in our company due to the fact folks are pretty insecure, people are involved about regardless of whether they’ll have a task after this economic issue arrives back again all-around,” he mentioned in a “Mad Dollars” job interview.

To just take it a stage further, Arora claimed he and the company’s board would add a overall of $4 million to a fund to guidance wage earners, this kind of as cafeteria and safety workers, and has asked staff members to donate up to $1 million to the pot.

In 2019, Arora’s foundation income was $1 million, in accordance to Factset.

“We’re hoping to have $5 million-furthermore elevated extremely swiftly, and the intent is to assist our personnel in need to have, very first and foremost, to aid our hourly wage workers and, three, guidance the group that we’re all in,” Arora told Jim Cramer. “We’ve in essence selected to harmony staff and people more than profit in the short-term time frame due to the fact people today are really worried about what’s going on all-around them.”

Palo Alto has also fully commited to keeping head count of CloudGenix, the privately held software package-described broad-region network corporation it declared Tuesday that it would get for $420 million. The offer is expected to shut in Palo Alto’s July quarter and to increase its Prisma protected obtain provider edge, or SASE, system.

Palo Alto employs more than 7,000 folks, which features workplaces in California, Tel Aviv and India. It is not obvious how many CloudGenix employs.

“They’re a aspect of the family members,” Arora claimed.

Cramer famous that companies typically make position cuts following executing a merger, to which Arora responded confidently, “No.”

“I believe we will occur out of this potent both equally as an financial system and as a company,” he explained. “We are in posture to go on to be the biggest cybersecurity corporation in the entire world. In situations like this it shakes out the winners and the losers.”

Palo Alto shares have plummeted with the broader financial state in the course of the coronavirus pandemic. The inventory shut Tuesday’s session at $163.96, down a lot more than 29% from the start off of the quarter and far more than 32% the earlier yr.

With more persons performing remotely and college students researching from house, hackers have develop into active in making an attempt to acquire gain of people’s heightened sensibility to the coronavirus. Household networks are generally considerably less safe than business ones, and coronavirus-associated on line cons have ticked up, Arora claimed.

He stated he expects that will translate to extra business enterprise for Palo Alto as faculty districts, universities and enterprises alike glimpse to beef up their remote entry applications. Current execution misses in the organization could also be a matter of the earlier.

“I imagine the execution is back again … and I am hoping this will translate into a excellent end result for the organization in the foreseeable future from an economic” standpoint, he said.

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