(Bloomberg Opinion) — This is one of a series of interviews by Bloomberg Opinion columnists on how to solve today’s most pressing challenges. This conversation has been edited and condensed.Sarah Halzack: As the head of Williams-Sonoma Inc., you oversee a company that includes home-goods chains such as Pottery Barn and West Elm. Let’s rewind to mid-March, when the scope and the scale of the pandemic was becoming clear. What was the most urgent change you knew you needed to make? What area of the business needed to be addressed first?
Laura Alber, president and CEO, Williams-Sonoma Inc.: Like everyone, it really caught us off guard. And the most important thing for us is the safety of our people. So we wanted to be thoughtful about what to do, and we spent a lot of time on that. Then of course you go into scenario planning. I lived through the recession