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Airbnb confirms almost 1,900 job losses - 25% of all staff

Several hundred people are employed by the company in Dublin.

File photo
File photo
Image: SOPA Images/SIPA USA/PA Images

AIRBNB HAS CONFIRMED that almost 1,900 employees will lose their jobs as the company deals with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

About 25% of the company’s 7,500 employees will be let go.

Several hundred people are employed by the company in Dublin, but it is not yet clear if they are affected by the cuts.

There has been a marked increase in the number of rental properties available in Ireland and elsewhere as properties previously used for short-term letting via Airbnb came back on the market amid recent travel restrictions.

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky confirmed the job losses in a statement sent to staff members today. He said the company has been “hit hard”, with revenue this year forecasted to be less than half of what was made in 2019.

“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 in the statement.

He said the company has raised $2 billion (about €1.8 billion) in capital and “dramatically cut costs” in response to the crisis.

While these actions were necessary, it became clear that we would have to go further when we faced two hard truths: We don’t know exactly when travel will return. When travel does return, it will look different.

Chesky said he believes Airbnb “will fully recover”, but the changes it will undergo are “not temporary or short-lived”.

“We need to make more fundamental changes to Airbnb by reducing the size of our workforce around a more focused business strategy.

“Out of our 7,500 Airbnb employees, nearly 1,900 teammates will have to leave Airbnb, comprising around 25% of our company. Since we cannot afford to do everything that we used to, these cuts had to be mapped to a more focused business.”

Clarity for employees

Cheesky said employees in the US and Canada will receive “immediate clarity” about their positions, and affected staff members in other countries will be contacted “as soon as possible”.

“We have employees in 24 countries, and the time it will take to provide clarity will vary based on local laws and practices,” he added.

The company said employees in the US who are let go will receive 14 weeks of base pay, plus one additional week for every year they worked at Airbnb.

Outside the US, all employees will receive at least 14 weeks of pay, “plus tenure increases consistent with their country-specific practices”.

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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