Bob Iger to join California’s economic taskforce in response to COVID-19

An 80 person taskforce has been created by Gavin Newsom, California’s Governor, to develop economic recovery strategies in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Executive Chairman of Disney, Bob Iger, and Apple CEO Tim Cook have joined this taskforce. Newsom announced the group in a press conference on Friday. The billionaire and philanthropist Tom Steyer will co-chair the taskforce, according to Variety.

Creating “actionable” results

In the press conference, Newsom said that “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.”

“In terms of how we recover,” he continued, “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.”

For Newsom, it is vital that this taskforce creates “actionable” and “meaningful” results. He wants them to think about loans, grants and other “financial mechanisms” that will help to stimulate economic recovery for the state.

Sharing experiences

Iger has said that he will bring the knowledge and experience Disney has acquired to the taskforce. Disney’s main priorities were “getting people back to work” and offering guests positive entertainment experiences. He has previously said that he has been looking carefully at safety measures taken by theme parks and attractions reopening in China.

However, Iger made it clear during the press conference that Disney has to be “really smart in how we re-open our business, so that everyone can feel safe – both our employees and our customers.”

Iger continued, saying that Disney belives a “collection of protective measures are likely necessary” and that the company stands “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.”

Different categories

The taskforce will be divided into different categories, such as entertainment, hospitality, retail and manufacturing. The work of the taskforce will be additional to current groups who are already creating economic strategies for the state of California.

As well as Iger and Cook, former federal reserve chair Janet Yellen, Service Employees International Union president Mary Kay Henry and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff have also joined the taskforce.

This comes as Bob Iger says that he has taken a more active role in running Disney, despite stepping down as CEO in February.