Nicely balanced letter from a Swiss security firm. TL:DR: We’re conserving cash, we’re offering free stuff during the crisis, don’t worry…:
Zug, Switzerland – WISeKey International Holding Ltd. (“WISeKey” NASDAQ: WKEY; SIX Swiss Exchange: WIHN), a leading cybersecurity and IoT company, today released a letter to shareholders from Carlos Moreira, WISeKey’s Founder and CEO.
The COVID-19 epidemic is affecting each of us and every business across the globe. Over the last three weeks, since the crisis started in Europe, we have taken initiatives to minimize risks to our business, develop and adapt new technologies to protect our customers against cyber-attacks and also protect shareholder value. Our senior management team’s experience during the 2000 and 2008 financial crises is proving to be very valuable and reassuring in dealing with the current epidemic crisis.
WISeKey is fully operational and our staff is working from home to maintain the critical infrastructures onsite (data centers, design labs, production centers etc.). While the safety and well-being of our employees and our customers remains our top priority, we recognize the important role we play in providing cybersecurity and identity management protection services during this critical time.
For those employees who will be working from home, we have implemented a “remote work” policy connected by video conference and the cybersecurity and technology necessary to do so using the experience WISeKey has in this type of environment. For employees who require office attendance in Geneva, France, Taiwan, Japan, and USA we are taking significant steps to ensure seamless service delivery while safeguarding their health.
We are actively monitoring the COVID-19/Coronavirus situation and taking steps to help keep our ecosystem safe and protected. We wanted to share with you some steps we are taking.
1. We have developed a special edition of WISeID that is now available as a free download of our WISeID app to secure interactions of teleworkers around the globe locked-down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and help companies reduce information security risks. While this new Coronavirus is a real biological threat, it’s raising awareness in the cybersecurity community, due to the increased use of remote connectivity or higher dependence on communication means such as email. Hackers are already profiting from this situation by launching new phishing attacks, pretending to be company managers or government agents, and trying to access computers and hijack corporate systems. In most companies the urgent need to enable teleworkers to keep up with their usual daily activities, caught the IT infrastructures unprepared and not properly secured. Attackers are well aware of these deficiencies and will profit from it.
The use of PKI and Digital Certificates can help to secure email messages and reduce risks by adding digital signatures that ensure the authenticity of messages and also by enabling encryption of confidential data. WISeKey’s WISeID Identity Platform is available for anyone to obtain a digital certificate and immediately protect their email.
- We have put together a team ready to respond to any challenges related to this pandemic and have Business Continuity Plans in place to ensure the continuation of services and in particular the manufacturing of our IoT micro-processors in Taiwan, Thailand. WISeKey’s strong financial position of $17 million cash and restricted cash at March 20, 2020 with low convertible debt facilities, puts the company in a resilient position to face the crisis with operational cash reserves to last at least 2 years. Additionally, we are taking urgent and decisive actions to manage our costs, capital expenditures and working capital to maintain a positive free cash flow position during the year.
- As a way to show our solidarity all senior staff (CEO, CFO, MD) will be taking a temporary salary reduction of 30% during the crisis. The Board of Directors will also take a 30% reduction in their Board compensation. Other WISeKey staff, at the officer level, will be taking temporary salary reductions of various amounts and share compensation.
- We have also discontinued the share buyback program, announced last year so we conserve our cash for operational needs.
- We also anticipate a strong demand for our cybersecurity products during this year and sustained revenue derived from the increase demand of our technology. It is anticipated that CyberSecurity companies like WISeKey with strong technology-IP assets will recover much faster from the current crisis. Overall, continued adoption of IoT technologies connected to secure clouds, and ultimately 5G, will be tremendous catalysts for security companies given the related risk of adoption.
- The 2020 Annual General Meeting (the “Annual Meeting”) of Shareholders of WISeKey International Holding Ltd will be held at 14:00 Swiss Time on May 15, 2020. Due to the extraordinary situation in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, our Annual Meeting cannot take place in the usual format. The Annual Meeting will therefore be held in accordance with the Swiss Federal Council Ordinance on Measures to Combat the Coronavirus (the “COVID-19 Ordinance”). Accordingly, it will not be possible for shareholders to attend the General Meeting in person at the venue. Shareholders may exercise their voting rights only by giving electronic or written voting instructions to our independent voting rights representative, as further described in the invitation.
We believe that given our team experience, leading technology, dedicated and talented staff and our dedication to the cybersecurity business we will emerge stronger than ever. We wish our shareholders and their loved ones good health during these difficult times.
Founder and CEO
WISeKey International Holdings