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Comcast’s CEO Just Set Aside $500 Million to Keep Paying Employees Impacted by Covid-19

The powerful exec says the funds will support employees during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Comcast Brian Roberts Courtesy of Mark Lennihan/AP/Shutterstock

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts is putting his money where his mouth is.

In an internal email, the powerful executive pledged that the company he runs––which includes NBC Universal––will commit $500 million to support employees in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. The social distancing and home quarantining being enforced nationwide has forced some of the conglomerate’s business units grind to a halt.

“We hope in some small way we can make this time easier on our employees, our local communities and our customers,” Roberts wrote in the email, which was obtained by The Wrap. “I don’t know when the worst will be behind us. But I do know that the best way forward will continue to be together.”

The funds will go “to support our employees through continued pay and benefits where operations have been paused or impacted, and we have committed significant resources to support our customers.” But Roberts’ financial commitment didn’t stop there.

“Additionally, effective today, and for the duration of this situation, our senior leaders, Mike Cavanagh, Dave Watson, Jeff Shell, Jeremy Darroch and I have chosen to donate 100 percent of our salaries to charities that support Covid-19 relief efforts,” he wrote.

The move comes at a critical time for the media behemoth. With more people forced to stay indoors, general internet usage––of which Comcast is a prominent provider––has spiked. Roberts reinforced that all levels of leadership and personnel are working especially hard to keep networks running. Though a challenge, it also represents a notable benefit for the company as it creates a consistent stream of revenue not reliant on advertising like most forms of media, which have caused many outlets to implement layoffs or salary reductions. And its audience is, essentially, captive. But that isn’t a guarantee of success as its stock, like the market itself, is down significantly.

“This too shall pass, and we will be on the other side of this crisis,” Roberts wrote at the close of his message. “But at this moment I have never been prouder of our company, our people and the collective strength and resilience from all corners of our great organization.”

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