Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman on returning workers to office


Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman told CNBC on Wednesday that taking employees’ temperatures will probably be part of their coronavirus plan to return workers to company offices around the world.

“We will likely ask them a series of questions, take their temperature and do other things to make sure we can manage our employees successfully,” Friedman said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Nasdaq has offices in 30 countries.

Friedman said that decisions on returning employees to those locations, including in New York City, will be dependent on the curve of the virus in each specific place. “There will be some locations that will be open sooner than others.”

The first criteria in sending workers back will be whether the number of new Covid-19 cases is on the decline, Friedman said, adding Nasdaq will also evaluate whether local hospitals are “able to manage through the case load they have.”

In the absence of a treatment or vaccine for the coronavirus, testing and contact tracing in the broader society will be important in determining when it’s safe for workers to return to the office, Friedman said. 

“I would say that we are really at war against an invisible enemy right now and testing and contact tracing are [also] going to be critical components to be able to bring the enemy into the light so that we can then know how to manage our people safely,” she added.

Friedman’s comments come as some states are getting ready to relax their coronavirus mitigation measures in hopes of reopening their economies. Many health experts and business leaders are warning that such moves may be premature in the absence of widespread testing.

U.S. cases topped 825,000 with over 45,000 deaths as global infections approached 2.6 million with more than 178,000 fatalities, according to data from Johns Hopkins University on Wednesday morning.


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