Sony Electronics, with its North America headquarters in Rancho Bernardo, has over 3,000 employees in the region and almost 47 years of economic impact locally. Recently released earnings state the company’s revenue was $16 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019, ending March 31, and roughly $78 billion total last year.
So, when COVID-19 first hit in mid-March, the company knew it was its civic duty to step up in support of the local community.
Sony Global Relief Fund
In late April, it announced the formation of the “Sony Global Relief Fund for COVID-19,” a $100 million fund in support of various groups affected by the coronavirus crisis.
The financial help focuses on three areas, according to Cheryl Goodman, head of corporate communications and head of corporate social responsibility for Sony Electronics North America: frontline workers, children and educators working remotely and members of the creative community. Additionally, in support of the medical industry, $10 million of the “Sony Global Relief Fund for COVID-19” will be awarded to the “COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund” for the World Health Organization (WHO) to assist medical workers and others on the frontline in the fight against the virus.
“Our commitment is to our employees, our partners and our customers and what it paramount to all those things is safety,” said Goodman. “We are really focused on getting to the other side of this in the safest way possible.”
In the area of education, Sony is working on leveraging its technologies in support of educational activities and cooperating with educators to better understand how to provide their products and services. As it pertains to the creative community, including music, pictures, games and animation, Sony is looking for ways to help up-and-coming artists who have been affected by the cancellation or postponement of concerts and shows, as well as film and television productions.
As part of the relief initiative, Sony Electronics has donated about 23,000 N-95 face masks from its own emergency stash to healthcare workers in California and New Jersey, said Goodman, including 10,000 to the five Scripps Hospitals in San Diego. Medical facilities in Baja California will also receive PPE in coming days, she said.
“We have so many Sony colleagues here in San Diego and throughout California and supporting our local community has always been important,” said Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics. “We see day-to-day the struggles that our local hospitals are faced with, especially in the south county. We hope by donating needed PPE to Scripps Hospitals, we can not only provide supplies they need, but can also raise awareness for their ongoing need for PPE.”
Matching Gift Program
Internally, Sony Electronics, which has retained all of its local employees throughout the pandemic, is allowing and encouraging its employees to participate in a matching gift program. The initiative will expand outside of San Diego, the company said, and will be offered to all 110,000 employees worldwide.
Kenichiro Yoshida, president and CEO of Sony Corp., said in a statement: “In order to overcome the unprecedented challenges that as a society we now face around the world, we will do all we can as a global company to support the individuals on the frontlines on the battle against COVID-19, the children wo are our future, and those who have been impacted in the creative community.”