Airbnb is cutting 25% of staff — 1,900 jobs — after its business has been slammed by the coronavirus crisis

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Airbnb is cutting 25% of staff — 1,900 jobs — after its business has been slammed by the coronavirus crisis
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky told employees Tuesday that the company is laying off 25% of its staff.Mike Segar/Reuters
  • Airbnb announced Tuesday it's cutting 25% of its staff, or about 1,900 jobs.
  • The cuts are meant to refocus the company on its core business of home sharing; the company plans to pause or cut back other efforts such as offering hotel accommodations or making travel videos, CEO Brian Chesky told employees in an internal letter.
  • Although Airbnb has raised $2 billion in recent weeks, it expects its revenue this year to be less than half the $4.8 billion it recorded in 2019, Chesky said.
  • Airbnb plans to offer affected workers at least 14 weeks of severance pay and, in the US, a year's worth of healthcare coverage.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
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Airbnb, hit hard by the global coronavirus epidemic, is laying off about 1,900 workers, or 25% of its staff, company CEO Brian Chesky told employees on Tuesday.

Chesky announced the cuts at a staff meeting at noon then confirmed them in an internal letter he subsequently sent to workers. The company is expecting the pandemic to reshape the travel industry and its business, Chesky said in the letter. The cuts are meant to help refocus Airbnb's business on what it sees as its primary opportunities after the crisis, he said.

"Today, I must confirm that we are reducing the size of the Airbnb workforce," Chesky said in the letter. "For a company like us whose mission is centered around belonging, this is incredibly difficult to confront, and it will be even harder for those who have to leave Airbnb."

The cuts come despite the fact that Airbnb has raised $2 billion in the last month through debt financing. The company is forecasting that its revenue will be less than half the $4.8 billion it pulled in last year.

The company plans to notify affected workers in the US and Canada later on Tuesday, Chesky said. Workers in other countries will be notified according to local laws and standards, he said. The effective date of the layoffs in the US and Canada is next Monday.

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Read more: Airbnb and RXR Realty are scrapping a partnership at Rockefeller Center that the home-sharing giant's CEO touted as a '21st-century hospitality model'

The company is planning on returning its focus to home sharing — people who offer accommodations in the rooms, apartments, and houses that they own or manage. As a result, Chesky said, it's planning on pushing the pause button on its efforts in transportation and in Airbnb Studios, its effort to produce streaming travel videos. The company also is planning to cut back on investments in offering hotel rooms and in Lux, it's luxury accommodations effort, he said.

Airbnb plans to pay laid off US workers 14 weeks of base pay plus an additional week for each year or partial year of service to the company. Non-US employees will get at least 14 weeks of pay.

The company is also planning on providing 12 months worth of health care coverage to US workers. Outside the US, workers will have their health insurance costs paid through the end of this year.

The mass job cuts are only the latest effort by Airbnb to slash expenses in response to the crisis. Last month, the company laid off most of its contractors and postponed its summer internships. In late March, it slowed its hiring and froze its marketing spending.

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Last month, right after Airbnb raised its first $1 billion in debt financing, Business Insider estimated that at its burn rate from 2019, it could still run out of cash in less than a year.

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