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'I'm a believer in my company' — Lowe's CEO says that's why he's personally buying shares

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Lowe's CEO talks coronavirus impact, buying stock and online business

Lowe's CEO Marvin Ellison said Wednesday he's been personally buying shares of the home improvement retailer during the difficult times of the coronavirus outbreak because he's optimistic about the future.

"I'm a believer in my company," CEO Marvin Ellison told CNBC's Jim Cramer. "I'm here for the long term."

"We think that we will create a great value and we'll create a great opportunity for shareholder value over the long term," Ellison said in the "Mad Money" interview. "As CEO, if I don't have confidence in the company, then I don't know who will."

Earlier Wednesday, Ellison told CNBC that Lowe's has seen an increase across nearly every store category as customers not only stock up on cleaning supplies, but fix up and maintain their homes.

Ellison also commended employees who are working hard in stressful circumstances. Lowe's staff has been helping customers with urgent home repairs, delivering refrigerators, fixing leaking pipes or electrical problems, he said.

Lowe's announced Wednesday that it will give special payments of $300 to full-time employees and $150 to part-time and seasonal employees to express the company's appreciation.

The company is extending emergency paid leave for up to four weeks for people who are at a higher risk of COVID-19.

It is offering free telemedicine to all employees and their families, even if they are not enrolled in the company's health benefits, Ellison said.

Lowe's also committed $25 million to relief efforts for its employees and the business community, including a $10 million donation of protective products to medical professionals. 

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the Lowe's CEO was talking about his personal purchase of company shares during the coronavirus downturn.

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