Airbnb to cut a quarter of its global workforce

The cuts will affect 1,900 staff as the home-sharing company grapples with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel industry.
By: | May 8, 2020

Airbnb has announced it will slash 25% of its global workforce as it grapples with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel industry.

The cuts, which will affect some 1,900 staff, is a necessary step for the San Francisco-based home-sharing company, explained Airbnb co-founder and chief executive Brian Chesky.

“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 said in a blog post.

“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.

“Our process started with creating a more focused business strategy built on a sustainable cost model. We assessed how each team mapped to our new strategy, and we determined the size and shape of each team going forward.

“We then did a comprehensive review of every team member and made decisions based on critical skills, and how well those skills matched our future business needs,” Chesky added.

The affected employees will receive the following benefits:

  • Severance: 14 weeks of base pay plus tenure increases based on standard practices where they are located
  • Equity: all employees will receive Airbnb shares regardless of how long they have been with the company
  • Health insurance costs covered even after they leave: 12 months for employees in the US, and until the end of 2020 for employees in all other countries
  • Job search support: the company will pay for four months of career services, and Airbnb’s recruiting department will assist the affected employees with placement
  • Affected employees will be permitted to keep their company-issued laptops

In March, Airbnb had announced that its top executives would have their pay slashed by 50 percent, while Chesky and the other co-founders would take no salary for the next six months.