Airbnb to cut 25% of global workforce as leisure industry continues to struggle in face of COVID-19 pandemic

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International online booking platform Airbnb has today announced that it is set to cut 25% of its global workforce, as the industry continues to struggle with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier today, Airbnb Co-Founder and CEO Brian Chesky sent the following note to Airbnb employees.

He said: “This is my seventh time talking to you from my house. Each time we’ve talked, I’ve shared good news and bad news, but today I have to share some very sad news.

“When you’ve asked me about layoffs, I’ve said that nothing is off the table. Today, I must confirm that we are reducing the size of the Airbnb workforce. For a company like us whose mission is centered around belonging, this is incredibly difficult to confront, and it will be even harder for those who have to leave Airbnb. I am going to share as many details as I can on how I arrived at this decision, what we are doing for those leaving, and what will happen next.

“Let me start with how we arrived at this decision. We are collectively living through the most harrowing crisis of our lifetime, and as it began to unfold, global travel came to a standstill. Airbnb’s business has been hit hard, with revenue this year forecasted to be less than half of what we earned in 2019. In response, we raised $2 billion in capital and dramatically cut costs that touched nearly every corner of Airbnb.

“While these actions were necessary, it became clear that we would have to go further when we faced two hard truths:

  1. We don’t know exactly when travel will return.
  2. When travel does return, it will look different.

“While we know Airbnb’s business will fully recover, the changes it will undergo are not temporary or short-lived. Because of this, we need to make more fundamental changes to Airbnb by reducing the size of our workforce around a more focused business strategy.

“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.”

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