Airbnb, the world’s most popular short-term rental platform, is reducing the size of its workforce due to the hit the travel industry has received by the Covid-19 pandemic, the company’s co-founder and CEO, Brian Chesky, informed employees on Tuesday.
In a letter to the company’s staff, Chesky said that out of 7,500 Airbnb employees, nearly 1,900 will have to leave, comprising around 25 percent of the company.
“We are collectively living through the most harrowing crisis of our lifetime, and 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,” Chesky said.
Airbnb managed to raise $2 billion in capital and cut costs that touched nearly every corner of the company in efforts to face the Covid-19 crisis..
However, according to Chesky, as it remains unknown “exactly when travel will return” Airbnb had to proceed more fundamental changes by reducing the size of its workforce around a more focused business strategy.
“While we know Airbnb’s business will fully recover, the changes it will undergo are not temporary or short-lived,” he said.
According to Chesky, the coronavirus crisis has sharpened the company’s focus to get back to the basics, “back to what is truly special about Airbnb — everyday people who host their homes and offer experiences”.
The company will reduce its investment in activities that do not directly support the core of its host community.
“We are pausing our efforts in Transportation and Airbnb Studios, and we have to scale back our investments in Hotels and Lux,” Chesky said.
Airbnb has employees in 24 countries. Teams across all of Airbnb will be impacted by the lay offs.