Shareholders Jim Umpleby
Chairman & CEO
I would like to thank Caterpillar employees around the world for enabling our customers to continue providing the critical infrastructure essential to fight the global pandemic.
As we prepared this year’s Annual Report, COVID-19 became a global pandemic, presenting new challenges around the world. Governments responded with guidance to manage the crisis and, in many instances, classified operations such as Caterpillar’s as essential activity for support of critical infrastructure.
Customers use our products to provide primary and stand-by power for hospitals, grocery stores and data centers; transport food and critical supplies in trucks, ships and locomotives; maintain clean water and sewer systems; mine commodities and extract the fuels essential to satisfy global energy demand. Along with our dealers and suppliers, Caterpillar is working to help ensure uninterrupted access to the products and services that our customers rely upon to support society during these difficult times.
While we are serving this important need, Caterpillar remains dedicated to the safety, health and well-being of our employees. The Caterpillar team achieved our best safety performance on record in 2019, and we are leveraging our strong safety culture to manage through this pandemic.
Employees who can work from home are doing so. In our facilities that remain open, Caterpillar is taking appropriate precautions and implementing safeguards to protect our team members. We have increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting facilities with special attention to common areas. We are following social distancing practices and are implementing other measures consistent with specific regulatory requirements and guidance from health authorities.
We have introduced a number of enhanced benefits to our employees to help them deal with the pandemic. These benefits vary by country based on local medical care systems and various regulatory requirements. The Caterpillar Foundation has also committed $10 million (USD) to directly support global COVID-19 response activities and help organizations that have been impacted.
Celebrating 90 Years of Corporate Strength
Of the approximately 2,200 companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Caterpillar is among only 3% that have been listed for 90 consecutive years or more. We celebrated the 90th anniversary of Caterpillar’s listing on the NYSE in December, when Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby rang the opening bell.
To mark the occasion, we put a variety of Cat® machines on display in front of the NYSE, including a wheel loader, wheeled excavator, industrial loader and compact loader, all of which have played a part in Caterpillar’s historical success.
In response to the pandemic, we have taken other decisive actions to keep our company strong, including reducing discretionary expenses and suspending 2020 salary increases and short-term incentives for many employees and all senior executives.
We continue to execute the strategy for profitable growth we introduced in 2017 by focusing on operational excellence, expanded offerings and services.
Caterpillar has faced and overcome many challenges in our 95-year history. As in the past, our employees continue to rise to the occasion. I would like to thank Caterpillar employees around the world for enabling our customers to continue providing the critical infrastructure essential to fight the global pandemic.
Thank you for your continued support.
Chairman & CEO