Global travel has practically come to a halt during the coronavirus pandemic, and Airbnb’s business has taken a hard hit because of it. In a news release put out yesterday, Airbnb announced its tough decision to cut 25 percent of its staff and move toward a more focused business strategy.
In an email Airbnb cofounder and CEO Brian Chesky sent to all employees, he shared that Airbnb’s revenue this year is expected to be less than half of what the company earned in 2019. Aa a result, about 1,900 of Airbnb’s 7,500 employees will have to leave the company. Airbnb is also reducing its investment in projects that don’t directly support its core business, including in the areas of transportation and hotels.
“This crisis has sharpened our focus to get back to our roots, back to the basics, back to what is truly special about Airbnb—everyday people who host their homes and offer experiences,” Chesky wrote.
Throughout the message, Chesky laid out how the business needs to evolve, how reductions were approached, and how the company will support those who are leaving. For those being laid off, the company will pay severance, insure everyone hired in the past year leaves as a shareholder, cover 12 months of health insurance, and more. The company is also tapping its recruiting team to help departing employees find new jobs, as well as letting everyone who is leaving keep their company-provided laptops.
Other businesses in the travel and hospitality industries have made similar decisions. Marriott, Walt Disney World, and United Airlines are among some of the companies that have announced layoffs and furloughs in an effort to survive during the pandemic.
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