Airbnb is reportedly laying off nearly 2,000 employees due to the coronavirus pandemic — effectively slashing its headcount by 25 per cent.
The 1,900 workers axed by the homesharing start-up will receive a four-month pay package, as well as accelerated equity vesting and health insurance for a year, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
CEO Brian Chesky informed staff of the lay-offs in a Tuesday afternoon all-hands call, according to The Information, which first reported the news.
In a memo to employees obtained by TechCrunch, Chesky said that the lay-offs will impact internal product groups including Transportation and Airbnb Studios. He described the staff cuts as “mapped to a more focused business.”
Airbnb in late March suspended all its marketing activities to save $800 million in 2020, and informed workers that its founders will take no salary for the next six months while top executives will take a 50 per cent pay cut.
In a statement sent to news.com.au, a spokesperson said the decision was made because the impact on the tourism industry wasn’t going to be short-lived.
“Out of our 7,500 Airbnb employees, nearly 1,900 teammates will have to leave Airbnb, comprising around 25 per cent of our company,” the statement read.
“Since we cannot afford to do everything that we used to, these cuts had to be mapped to a more focused business.
“Travel in this new world will look different, and we need to evolve Airbnb accordingly. People will want options that are closer to home, safer, and more affordable. But people will also yearn for something that feels like it’s been taken away from them — human connection.
“This means that we will need to reduce our investment in activities that do not directly support the core of our host community. We are pausing our efforts in Transportation and Airbnb Studios, and we have to scale back our investments in Hotels and Lux.”
This article was originally published on the New York Post and has been republished with permission