Sensata Technologies CEO on Coronavirus Impact

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Sensata Technology  (ST) - Get Report took to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to ring the opening bell.

Jeff Cote, CEO of Sensata, was celebrating his first week as CEO of Sensata. He broke down for TheStreet his advice for employees and investors, and how the company is handling its China exposure and what that means in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Watch the full video above for more. 

Video Transcript:

Katherine Ross:
I've got Jeff Cote, CEO of Sensata Technology with me. Jeff, this is your first week as CEO, so I want to ask you, what is one key leadership experience that you've had so far?

Jeff Cote:
So far I've learned to stay calm during very difficult times associated with the market, Coronavirus, there's a lot going on right now. But I think in times like this, the people that work for the company are looking for their leader to just be calm and to set the course for the forward direction.

Katherine Ross:
Now I know that you've probably been asked this a couple of times, but let's talk about the Coronavirus. Are you guys seeing any kind of impact from that?

Jeff Cote:
Sure, absolutely. We're taking it very seriously. First and foremost, we're making sure that we take care of our employees and making sure that we serve our customers to the best of our ability. We've been able to accomplish both of those objectives at this point, and so we're very pleased with that. We're obviously taking all the precautionary measures in terms of being able to do that and we're actually one of the first companies out that actually indicated that there would be an impact in the first quarter associated with the virus. And we're glad that we were able to demonstrate that leadership.

Katherine Ross:
I read that in your last earnings call. So I want to ask you about that because you guys did not know really what the impact would be back then and now that China's kind of coming back up and is starting to run a little bit more. What kind of impact do you expect to see now?

Jeff Cote:
You know, we had forecasted that there would be about a $40 million revenue impact to the business and based upon what we're seeing in terms of fill rates and the fact that we've been able to get our factories up and running, we feel pretty good about that. We're obviously continuing to monitor the situation very closely, not only for the quarter but obviously for the balance of the year as well.

Katherine Ross:
When you're talking to employees or investors, and it's been such a tough week and into this week too, what's your piece of advice for them? What should they be thinking about when it comes to the markets?

Jeff Cote:
Just really focus on the longterm, right, and we are a very long cycle business. We tend to focus on really shareholder value creation and what we do for our customers over a 3, 5, 10 year time horizon. There will be points in time where there's disruption and short near term items that we need to deal with. Stay calm, focus on the future.

Katherine Ross:
Thank you so much for taking the time to join us today.

Jeff Cote:
Thank you very much for having me.