Covid-19: Airbnb to cut almost 1,900 jobs due to the ‘most harrowing crisis’

  • Airbnb
  • Wednesday, 06 May 2020

Airbnb cut 1,900 employees, nearly a quarter of its work force. — Dreamstime/TNS

Airbnb said May 5 it will cut almost 1,900 jobs as the short-term home rental company deals with the fallout from a travel industry wracked by upheaval stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

Brian Chesky, Airbnb's chief executive and co-founder, made the announcement in a letter sent to company employees, and posted on the Airbnb website. While not mentioning coronavirus or Covid-19 by name, Chesky left no doubt about what was behind the decision to shed approximately 25% off Airbnb's 7,500 jobs.

"We are collectively living through the most harrowing crisis of our lifetime, and as it began to unfold, global travel came to a standstill," said Chesky, who added that San Francisco-based Airbnb expects its revenue this year to be less than half the amount it took in during 2019.

Chesky said that the coronavirus crisis has created a situation in which "we don't know exactly when travel will return", and "when travel does return, it will look different."

As such, Chesky said Airbnb would need to refocus its business, and would put the brakes on its transportation, hotel and luxury home rental operations.

"This crisis has sharpened our focus to get back to our roots, back to the basics, back to what is truly special about Airbnb," Chesky said. "Everyday people who host their homes and offer experiences."

Chesky said May 11 will be the last workday for those employees affected by the layoffs, and that US employees will receive 14 weeks of base pay, plus one week of pay for every year at Airbnb, in addition to 12 months of healthcare coverage. – The San Jose Mercury News/Tribune News Service

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