Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, chairman and CEO of Telefonica, stressed the importance of the industry’s role and next-generation connectivity in helping mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, as the company held its AGM.
In a speech delivered to shareholders remotely, Alvarez-Pallete reviewed the company’s 2019 performance, while highlighting its role as a “social reference” in helping to keep the businesses, culture, education and employment “of our societies alive”.
He pointed to Telefonica’s investment in its fibre network in Europe as an example. “If we have learned anything from this crisis is that digital infrastructure has been fundamental.”
“We have witnessed that having the most powerful fibre network in Europe is not an anecdote, it is something essential at crucial times.”
Moving to the impact of the crisis on the company, Alvarez-Pallete explained that while the pandemic had “interrupted many things”, several other elements of its longer-term strategy were set in motion.
“It accelerated our plans for change. Our teams’ resilience and ability to work in adverse conditions was demonstrated,” he explained.
“It become clear that Telefonica was ready for challenges that no one had imagined.”
Finally, he issued a rallying cry, calling for action to ensure citizens across the world have access to technology and the opportunities offered by the digital world, “preventing social inequalities from worsening”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back