Dhaka: Home-sharing platform Airbnb announced recently that it is laying off a quarter of its workforce, nearly 2,000 workers, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shred the international travel industry.
The company said that it plans to soften the blow for former employees with benefits, including providing 12 months of health insurance.
Brian Chesky, CEO and Co-founder of Airbnb said the cuts are required until people start to travel again. “We are collectively living through the most harrowing crisis of our lifetime, and as it began to unfold, global travel came to a standstill,” he added.
Airbnb said that it is going back to basic and cutting investments in transportation, hotels and other endeavours “that do not directly support hosts whose home listed on the platform”.
Airbnb has only recently announced it is receiving a billion dollars in new investment to survive and, it hopes, thrive in the new travel paradigm. At the time the CEO said, “The fresh resources will enable the San Francisco-based company to invest in its community of hosts as well as local experiences provided along with stays in homes.”
But since the announcement, the world’s travel business has been completely devastated with no clear path ahead until either a vaccine is found or some new way can be implemented for people to travel internationally. Most travel industry pundits are speculating that national tourism and travel business will be rebooted domestically before governments are willing to allow foreign tourists to return.
Therefore, in the meantime, the San Francisco-based company is cutting 25 per cent of its workforce.
“The job cuts will be spread about the company’s global operations, with a goal of tuning a more focused business strategy that returns to Airbnb “roots” of being a platform for sharing homes and local experiences.”
“Teams across all of Airbnb will be impacted.”
“Many teams will be reduced in size based on how well they map to where Airbnb is headed.”