Latest in Gear

Image credit: Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Airbnb will lay off 25 percent of its workforce due to COVID-19

It's cutting 1,900 jobs to stay afloat during the pandemic.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
May 5, 2020
145 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

POLAND - 2020/03/23: In this photo illustration an Airbnb logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively gutted Airbnb’s core business, and the company is taking drastic action to stay afloat while people aren’t travelling. The company has confirmed to TechCrunch that it’s laying off 1,900 employees, or just over 25 percent of its workforce, to cut costs during the crisis. It didn’t outline which countries would be most affected, but a memo from CEO Brian Chesky said the layoffs would affect Transportation, Airbnb Studios, Hotels and Lux.

The cuts would be “mapped to a more focused business,” Chesky said in the memo.

Departing staff will get 14 weeks of pay, plus another week for every year they’ve worked at Airbnb, and will get a year’s worth of health insurance in the US. International workers will get health coverage through the end of 2020. Employees who’ve worked for less than a year can buy their vested share options.

Airbnb has a degree of cushioning. It scrambled to raise capital once the pandemic hit, including $2 billion in debt. All the same, it’s easy to see why the company would cut jobs to such a severe degree. While lockdowns are beginning to lift, it could be a long time until travel resumes in earnest, let alone until enough travellers are comfortable that Airbnb sees pre-pandemic booking levels. The layoffs might help Airbnb survive until that point without having to ask for more money.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
145 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's 2020 Back-to-School Guide

Engadget's 2020 Back-to-School Guide

View
Amazon has eliminated single-use plastic at its Indian fulfilment centers

Amazon has eliminated single-use plastic at its Indian fulfilment centers

View
Facebook used 86 percent renewable energy in 2019

Facebook used 86 percent renewable energy in 2019

View
You can now apply for your $25 iPhone 'batterygate' compensation

You can now apply for your $25 iPhone 'batterygate' compensation

View
What's on TV: 'Paper Mario,' 'Psych 2' and 'Ghost of Tsushima'

What's on TV: 'Paper Mario,' 'Psych 2' and 'Ghost of Tsushima'

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr