Airbnb is cutting 25% of staff amid global travel slump

By Olivia Carville
Airbnb Inc. is cutting 25% of its workforce because the coronavirus pandemic continues to pummel the travel sector.

About 1,900 Airbnb staff the world over might be affected, Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky wrote in an electronic mail to staff Tuesday. Those staff’ final day might be Monday, May 11, the e-mail stated.

“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 wrote. “Airbnb’s business has been hit hard, with revenue this year forecasted to be less than half of what we earned in 2019.”

The San Francisco-based startup, which was poised to be the blockbuster inventory itemizing of the 12 months, has raised $2 billion in capital and dramatically lower prices in a bid to climate the slump.

“While we know Airbnb’s business will fully recover, the changes it will undergo are not temporary or short-lived,” Chesky wrote. “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.” As a outcome, Airbnb might be pausing its efforts in transportation and scaling again its investments in resorts and luxurious travel, he stated.

In an interview with Bloomberg in March, Chesky stated the previous few months have weighed on him. “I’m not sure if there’s a more difficult thing that a CEO of a travel company could ever do than go through this,” he stated. “You feel like you were T-boned, or like a torpedo has just hit the ship.”

Prior to the pandemic, Airbnb’s bills had already been rising. In 2019, bills exceeded $5 billion as the corporate sank cash into new choices aimed toward rising income earlier than its extremely anticipated preliminary public providing. The coronavirus outbreak has put Airbnb’s market debut in jeopardy.

In the post-pandemic world, Chesky is betting that vacationers will need choices which are nearer to house, safer and extra reasonably priced. “When we started Airbnb, it was about belonging and connection,” he wrote within the electronic mail. “This crisis has sharpened our focus to get back to our roots, back to the basics.”

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