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AirBnb Will Lay off 25% of Its Workforce Due to COVID-19

The vacation rental company has suffered losses due to the pandemic.

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On March 5, the CEO and Founder of AirBnb Brian Chesky has announced that the company will be downsizing 25% of its workforce. Nearly 1,900 out of 7,500 AirBnb employees will, unfortunately, be laid off.

The vacation rental company, along with its hosts, has been greatly affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As several countries have been placed under lockdowns, guests are canceling reservations

In a message to AirBnb’s employees, Chesky said, “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.” 

He went on to share what the company has been going through, and how he has arrived at this decision. “We are collectively living through the most harrowing crisis of our lifetime. 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.”

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“We don’t know exactly when travel will return,” said Chesky. “When travel does return, it will look different.”

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The CEO of the vacation rental company assured the employees that “these decisions are not a reflection of the work from people on these teams, and it does not mean everyone on these teams will be leaving us.”

Towards the end of his message, Chesky has brought to light how the company plans to move forward. “This crisis has sharpened our focus to get back to our roots, back to the basics, back to what is truly special about Airbnb — everyday people who host their homes and offer experiences.” He also noted, “We are pausing our efforts in Transportation and Airbnb Studios, and we have to scale back our investments in Hotels and Lux.”

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Last April 27, AirBnb released new cleaning measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, which includes keeping properties vacant for at least 24 hours before allowing guests to check in.

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