Airbnb, the world’s most popular short-term rental platform, is making drastic adjustments to its workforce on account the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company’s co-founder and CEO, Brian Chesky, told employees that 25 percent, or nearly 1,900 will have to leave the company. Chesky said:
“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.”
Previously, Airbnb managed to raise $2 billion in capital and to cut costs in efforts to face the Covid-19 crisis. At the end of the day, according to Chesky, the uncertainty of the situation is the biggest hurdle to overcome. Without knowing “exactly when travel will return” Airbnb, like many other companies, has to proceed more fundamental changes by reducing the size of its workforce around a more focused business strategy.
The Airbnb executive related to the media how the coronavirus pandemic has sharpened the company’s focus, and how “getting back to basics” has to be the target during these trying times. Chesky also said the company will be postponing Airbnb Studios, and the company’s efforts in transportation.
Chesky told reporters his company intends to prioritize protection of its community of 7 million hosts worldwide. He also said the layoffs would be spread across all divisions and regions.
Back in March, Chesky was working on the company’s S-1 document, which was intended to be used in its much-anticipated stock market announcement. Then the bottom dropped out. Now the company valued at over $31 billion before the pandemic, is down beneath the $20 billion figure.