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CRN recently reached out to WWT's Jim Kavanaugh for a wide-ranging conversation, with topics including digital transformation, partnerships and the pandemic. In this article, he discusses that while he recommends employees get the vaccine, he has not yet decided where he stands on a vaccine mandate, as well as delays in plans to return to office.
by Dylan Martin
World Wide Technology CEO Jim Kavanaugh said he will "likely" delay the timeline for when remote workers return to offices and that he is evaluating whether to mandate vaccines for his workforce as the COVID-19 delta variant surges across the world.
In an interview with CRN on August 9th, Kavanaugh said it feels like the St. Louis, Mo.-based solution provider is living in "two different worlds" because of the evolving nature of the pandemic. In one world, he said, the company's business remains strong in 2021, propped up by customers who are at various stages of their digital transformation initiatives. In the other, the fourth wave of COVID-19 cases caused by the highly transmissible delta variant is forcing Kavanaugh to rethink WWT's office reopening plans and consider a vaccine mandate as he calls employee safety and well-being his "No. 1 priority."
For WWT's front-line workers, on the other hand, the company continues to "remain very disciplined around safety protocols that we have," Kavanaugh said. These employees, who constitute the other half of WWT's workforce, work in logistics facilities, technology labs and integration facilities, "where they have to physically be there to build, rack and stack equipment and move equipment," he added.
The thornier issue for Kavanaugh is whether to require COVID-19 vaccines for WWT's employees as some employers, federal agencies and local governments across the country go in that direction.