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In the meeting, reported by Bloomberg, Cook called the coronavirus a "stressful moment," but also reassured employees about the company's strong financial position — it has about $120 billion in cash and equivalents — which is helping it pay retail employees while stores are closed, among other things.
He also said the company would continue to invest in research and development of Apple's products, even though he doesn't know yet when employees will return to offices.
Apple declined to comment.
Cook's comments come amid Apple's increasing efforts to help in the fight against the coronavirus. Though the company's offices are largely empty, its employees are working remotely and most of its retail shops have closed, Apple has attempted to use its power as one of the largest and most highly valued companies in the world to manufacture millions of protective face shields for medical workers as well as to create a new contact tracing technology to help alert people who may have come in contact with someone who had coronavirus but didn't yet know it.
Cook touted some of those initiatives during his talk with employees, reportedly saying that if the company keeps investing in employees and their work, he doesn't "see any reason to be anything but optimistic."