Hilton Corporate Response to COVID-19
March 27, 2020 // Franchising.com // McLEAN, VA - The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has created unprecedented challenges for our industry, our hotels and our Team Members. Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HLT) is taking decisive action to protect the core of its business and support affected Team Members until this crisis passes and travel resumes.
With travel at a virtual standstill, operations have been suspended across many managed and franchised hotels, and those hotels that remain open have reduced services for guests because of decreased occupancy levels. At the corporate level, Hilton is taking the following actions to significantly reduce expenses and preserve liquidity:
- President and CEO, Christopher Nassetta, will forgo his salary for the remainder of 2020;
- The Executive Committee will take a pay cut of 50 percent for the duration of the crisis;
- Beginning April 4, many of Hilton’s corporate Team Members will have reduced schedules or be furloughed for up to 90 days. During this time, these Team Members will maintain their health benefits and subject to local regulations, will also be eligible for unemployment benefits;
- Corporate Team Members who are not furloughed will have their pay reduced by up to 20 percent for the duration of the crisis;
- Eliminating non-essential expenses, including capital expenditures; and
- Suspending all share buybacks and suspending the payment of dividends – other than those previously declared.
While difficult to make, these decisions will allow the company to weather the current crisis and emerge in the best position to welcome back its Team Members and guests when it is safe again to travel.
Activating Additional Resources for Furloughed Team Members
Through the Hilton Workforce Resource Center, Team Members are being given direct and, in some cases, expedited access to more than 500,000 temporary jobs at more than 30 leading companies including Amazon, CVS, Albertsons, and Walgreens. Hilton hopes to expand this program globally and welcome Team Members back when travel resumes.
Activating Team Member Assistance Fund
Hilton has also activated its Team Member Assistance Fund to help both those Hilton Team Members who have suffered a direct impact, or have an impacted family member, from COVID-19. Hilton Team Members have been making points (converted to cash) and monetary donations to the Fund since the crisis began in China.
Extending our Hospitality to Help in This Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on the travel industry, but Hilton continues to deliver hospitality even during this crisis.
- Across the world, hotels have been donating excess food to local pantries.
- Hilton is assisting local and national governments to provide housing for first responders and health care workers.
- The Hilton Effect Foundation, the company’s charitable arm, is investing in grants to support organizations fighting the spread of infection and aiding communities in need. World Central Kitchen, Direct Relief, and Project Hope, are among the charities whose work will directly help those harmed by the pandemic.
- Hilton also has made it easy for Hilton Honors members to donate their points (converted to cash) to these worthwhile organizations.
Creating Flexibility for Guests
For peace of mind of our guests, all reservations – even non-cancellable stays – on or before June 30, 2020, are eligible for a full refund. For additional information about Hilton’s commitment to our Guests, including how we support travel safety, offer flexibility for booking and cancellations, and protects Hilton Honors membership Points and Status, please go to: https://www.hilton.com/en/corporate/coronavirus/.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements may include, but are not limited to, statements related to the Company's expectations regarding the potential impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and other non-historical statements. In some cases, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “outlook,” “believes,” “expects,” “potential,” “continues,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “seeks,” “projects,” “predicts,” “intends,” “plans,” “estimates,” “anticipates” or the negative version of these words or other comparable words. Such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including, among others, risks inherent to the hospitality industry, macroeconomic factors beyond Hilton’s control, competition for hotel guests and management and franchise contracts, risks related to doing business with third-party hotel owners, performance of Hilton’s information technology systems, growth of reservation channels outside of Hilton’s system, risks of doing business outside of the United States of America and Hilton’s indebtedness. Additional factors that could cause Hilton’s results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found under the section entitled “Part I—Item 1A. Risk Factors” of Hilton’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, filed with the SEC, as such factors may be updated from time to time in Hilton’s periodic filings with the SEC, which are accessible on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Accordingly, there are or will be important factors that could cause actual outcomes or results to differ materially from those indicated in these statements. These factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with the other cautionary statements that are included in this press release and in Hilton’s filings with the SEC. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by law.
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 18 world-class brands comprising more than 6,100 properties with more than 971,000 rooms, in 119 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company, Hilton welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its 100-year history, earned a top spot on the 2019 World’s Best Workplaces list, and was named the 2019 Global Industry Leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, more than 103 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can’t buy, plus enjoy instant benefits, including digital check-in with room selection, Digital Key, and Connected Room. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.
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