This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, September 17, 2001.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Joining us now from Stamford, Connecticut, the CEO of Pitney Bowes, Michael Critelli. About 100 Pitney Bowes' employees worked at the World Trade Center. Four are still missing.
Mr. Critelli, thank you very much.
MICHAEL CRITELLI, CEO, PITNEY BOWES: You're very welcome, Neil.
CAVUTO: What have we heard, sir, on the status of those four folks?
CRITELLI: Only that they are confirmed missing. Their families and we are working together to look for them, and we are providing counseling and support for those families as well as all the other people that were working in New York, and in some way or another have been affected by this tragedy. And our thoughts and prayers go out not to just our employees and to our families, but to all the victims of this tragedy.
CAVUTO: When did you first find out? I don't know enough about your offices. You had actual offices in the World Trade Center?
CRITELLI: We don't have offices. Our facilities management business, Pitney Bowes Management Services, serves about four customers in the World Trade Center and several other customers in the adjacent buildings. And I learned about this shortly after the first plane hit, that people were evacuating. And we set into motion a crisis management team as well as a crisis management center by 10 o'clock that morning.
CAVUTO: The mood of your workers? And I know I sound redundant when I ask CEOs this, but certainly I know just among regular average folks I've talked to, it's still anxious.
CRITELLI: Our workers, there's a lot of anxiety and concern about the missing employees, and just generally about the future. But our people are coming together. They recognize that, as the president said yesterday, we have to get back to business. Customers depend on us. And we are helping those customers get space, equipment and services to get them back in business. And other customers are assessing their needs. Our employees are also helping other employees, and they want to help the community. And the biggest single set of requests I've gotten from our employees is "How can we help? What can we do?" And a lot of our activity is giving them vehicles to provide services, goods, money, and some people want to donate blood to help the affected communities.
As you might imagine, because of where we're located, many people have been touched by this tragedy, and I've been gratified by the fact that our employees primary reaction has been "How can we help others?" And that's been their therapy, to get out and try to help the people that depend on them with the resources that they have.
CAVUTO: You know, it comes at a time, sir, when we're just hearing of layoffs. Now, U.S. Airways indicating it's going to lay off 11,000 workers. Continental said something in the vicinity of 12,000 workers. We're going to hear a lot more of this.
Are you afraid, regardless of your own upbeat view, that this pushes us into a recession?
CRITELLI: I think that there will be things, business activities that will decline because of lack of confidence. But there's also a need to spend money, to upgrade security, to upgrade infrastructure, to rebuild. And I'm hoping that that will be a catalytic event that will reverse the tendency toward recession.
We are going to do our part. Customers are reassessing their needs. They're appreciating some of the things we offer, and trustworthiness, reliability, security, and mail and document management. I think there will be short-term displacement, but over the long-term, customers will look at the world and realize that they have to spend money to address the demands of the world that we find ourselves in today, which is different from the world that existed a week ago today.
CAVUTO: Indeed. Mr. Critelli, thank you so much. We wish you well in the search for those four missing folks.
CRITELLI: Thank you very much.
CAVUTO: Michael Critelli, the CEO of Pitney Bowes, based in Stamford, Connecticut.
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