Airbnb Lays Off 25% of its Workforce Due to Revenue Declines

The travel slump resulting from COVID-19 is forcing travel and tourism companies, such as Airbnb to lay off employees.
Airbnb Lays Off 25% of its Workforce Due to Revenue Declines
Airbnb is laying off 1,900 employees. Source: BBC

Airbnb announced that it is laying off a quarter of its workforce in an open letter to its employees. The decision has been made due to a decline in its revenue.

“Out of our 7,500 Airbnb employees, nearly 1,900 teammates will have to leave Airbnb, comprising around 25% of our company. Since we cannot afford to do everything that we used to, these cuts had to be mapped to a more focused business.”

Brian Chesky, CEO & Co-Founder, Airbnb

Airbnb CEO and co-founder, Brian Chesky, announced the news to employees in a message. He said, “out of our 7,500 Airbnb employees, nearly 1,900 teammates will have to leave Airbnb, comprising around 25% of our company. Since we cannot afford to do everything that we used to, these cuts had to be mapped to a more focused business.”

The hospitality platform has admitted that layoffs were a possibility. It raised $2 billion of debt to help save it from coronavirus losses in April. Despite its efforts, the company was not able to forego layoffs.

A Generous Lay Off

In the announcement, the company clearly laid out the reasons for letting a quarter of its team go. Additionally, it outlined its departure terms which can be categorized as generous and refreshingly atypical. All Employees who have lost their jobs will recieve 14 weeks of base pay, 12 months of health insurance and they can even keep their laptops. Moreover, Airbnb is dropping the one-year cliff on equity for those hired in the past year. This means that everyone departing is a shareholder in the company.

Travel After the Pandemic

In the announcement, Chesky also talked about how the travel industry will change after the pandemic. He said that the demand for travel will return, but when that will happen remains unclear. He speculates that people want to travel closer to home in the future, but will yearn for human communication. Due to the crisis, the business is returning to its core and pausing its new projects. For example, Airbnb Studios and transportation initiatives are now on hold.

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