Airbnb to lay off 1,900 employees citing COVID-19 impacts

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said Tuesday that the company will lay off 1,900 employees and halt multiple projects citing impacts on travel due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Airbnb/Wikimedia Commons

May 6 (UPI) — Airbnb told employees Tuesday that it will lay off nearly 1,900 employees, or 25 percent of the company, citing impacts from the global COVID-19 pandemic.

CEO Brian Chesky sent a note to employees saying in addition to the layoffs Airbnb will stop projects related to hotels, a transportation division and luxury stays, saying “travel in this new world will look different” from what the company had planned for.

“We are collectively living through the most harrowing crisis of our lifetime and as it began to unfold, global travel came to a standstill,” Chesky said. “Airbnb’s business has been hit hard, with revenue this year forecast to be less than half of what we earned in 2019.”

May 11 will be the last day of work for employees laid off in the United States and Canada, said Chesky.

U.S. employees affected by the layoffs will receive 14 weeks of base pay and an additional week for every year they worked at Airbnb. The company will also provide 12 months of healthcare for employees who are laid off.

Airbnb employed 7,500 workers before the layoffs and instituted a hiring freeze last month in addition to suspending its marketing, cutting executives’ salary and announcing it didn’t expect to give out bonuses in 2020.


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