18 Inspiring Quotes from Business Leaders During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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This is a defining moment in business. With COVID-19 triggering a national emergency in the United States, the majority of companies are trying to find new ways to survive. The result is inspiring – reinventing business models, accommodating work at home employees, adapting to disruptions in supply chains, and more. While businesses are clapping back at the coronavirus with resilience, operating any business in this climate is stressful.

When times get tough, we look for guidance. For small business owners, that means looking to business leaders for their views on how the economic stall from the pandemic will play out.

Check out what some of the world’s business leaders had to say about the COVID-19 pandemic and what comes next:

Oprah Winfrey COVID-19 Quote

Oprah Winfrey – American media executive 

“I was struck by the work these organizations are doing and while everyone’s priority right now is to stay safer at home, I know there are many of us looking for ways to help.” (source)

Bill Gates, CEO and founder of Microsoft

“If we make the right decisions now—informed by science, data and the experience of medical professionals—we can save lives and get the country back to work.” (source)

Tim Cook and Sundar Pinchai – CEOs of Apple and Google, respectively

“Through close cooperation and collaboration with developers, governments, and public health providers, we hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID‑19 and accelerate the return of everyday life.” (source)

Mark Cuban – Entrepreneur, owner of Dallas Mavericks

“The CEO is of no more importance than somebody cleaning the floors or that takes a bucket and mops the floors. I think that this is a time as a reset where we really have to reevaluate how we treat workers, how people are paid, how can we get them into a role where they receive an equity as part of their compensation. So that they’re not having to live paycheck to paycheck, they have something that appreciates. All these things I think are important as we go through this reset in business.” (source)

Sam King – CEO of VeraCode, a cybersecurity company

“I wish there was an easy solution to these issues but there isn’t. My ask is to do the best you can. I also recommend that you not fall into the temptation of having every waking hour be a work from home hour just because it can be.” (source)

Mark Zuckerberg COVID-19 Quote

Mark Zuckerberg – CEO of Facebook

“I’m very proud about how our teams around the world have pulled together to support people – getting accurate information, fighting misinformation, supporting small business and their recovery – making sure that important social and communication services that people rely on to keep in touch with the people they love, stay stable and running.” (source)

Mohammad Ali – CEO of International Data Group

“You’ve got 3,000 to 4,000 people at home and they need a community. We have been creating online communities that have nothing to do with how much you’re going to sell this week.” (source)

Michael Hansen – CEO of Cengage 

“The one thing I’ve personally learned is you’ve got to get ahead of the curve, don’t try to deny it or put your head in the sand, and wish for the best. These are the times when a culture and an organization gets tested.” (source)

Kelly Frederickson – CEO of MullenLowe

“Most consumers don’t mind hearing from brands as long as it is a solution,” where we are not trying to sell something, but we are trying to solve something.” (source)

Jennifer McNamara – CIO of Washington state’s Department of Health

“One thing I tell my teams is: ‘slow is smooth and smooth is fast’,” she says. “Speed is important, but if people are moving too rapidly, they can miss the big picture and end up solving the wrong problems.” (source)

Warren Buffet COVID-19 Quote

Warren Buffet – CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

“There will be interruptions, and I don’t know when they will occur, and I don’t how deep they will occur, I do know they will occur from time to time, and I also know that we’ll come out better on the other end” (source)

Arvind Krishna – CEO of IBM

“When we look at the usage of AI and cloud, I think it is especially going to accelerate also not just us, but how our clients are going to go on their digital transformations. And I believe this crisis is only going to accelerate that as we go over the next few months.” (source)

Michael Dell – CEO of Dell

“We are all navigating this new normal together. As we lock arms virtually and try to help one another in the ways we can, our vast world suddenly feels a little smaller and a lot more connected. And for that, we are grateful.” (source)

Mike Krieger – Cofounder of Instagram

“In San Francisco alone, there are over 12,000 small businesses that employ more than 350,000 people. The coronavirus pandemic is threatening to permanently close many of these, leaving staff unemployed and owners at-risk. But one concrete, meaningful way that we can help is by purchasing gift cards. It’s a seemingly small gesture, but it means that the business gets income today to stay afloat through the crisis.” (source)

Bob Swan – CEO of Intel

“Today, we are witnessing what will surely be remembered as a historic deployment of remote work and digital access to services across every domain, including medicine, education, government, entertainment and more. In the coming weeks and months, services will be further digitized as the creativity of a massive work-from-home population gets rolling.” (source)

Tami Erwin – CEO of Verizon

“I don’t think we will ever go sit in a doctor’s waiting room when we’re sick again,” she said. “We will use telemedicine. The technology that’s available will change health care, will change education, will change a lot of things. And I think 5G is going to fuel that.” (source)

Brian Cornell – CEO of Target

“It’s safe to say that sitting here today, America is largely out of business, as many industries have idled capacity, as consumers are staying at home, working from home. Schools are closed, it’s a very unique environment that none of us have seen before, and there is no playbook for how to react in this environment. We’re writing the script each and every day” (source)

Kevin O’Leary – Entrepreneur and co-star of Shark Tank

“The key is to keep the DNA of the business intact so that when we come back out of this incredible, unique situation, we have all the building blocks we started with before to spring right back into business.” (source)

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