- Airbnb laid off its contract workers during a Zoom call with CEO Brian Chesky, as first reported by Protocol and confirmed to Business Insider by a worker in attendance.
- The company also postponed summer internships until 2021, Protocol reported.
- An Airbnb contractor told Business Insider that many people were caught off guard by the announcement, which came during Chesky’s weekly Q&A.
- The layoffs come after Airbnb said it had slowed hiring and frozen all marketing spending as the company struggles to navigate the coronavirus pandemic.
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Airbnb announced it was ending most of its temporary workers’ contracts early, effectively laying them off, during a weekly Q&A over Zoom on Thursday with CEO Brian Chesky, as first reported by Protocol and confirmed to Business Insider by a worker who was in attendance.
“We are ending Agency Temp contracts early,” Airbnb vice president of employee experience Beth Axelrod wrote in an email, according to Protocol, adding: “The expectation is that there will only be a small number of exceptions based on critical business needs. We don’t have information on those exceptions yet, but they will be communicated over the next week.”
The company also postponed summer internships and undergraduate hiring until 2021, Protocol reported.
Workers in attendance told Business Insider and Protocol that the announcement caught people by surprise, saying many in the meeting, including managers, appeared to not have been made aware of the layoffs beforehand.
The layoffs follow Airbnb’s decision in late March to tell teams to halt or significantly slow hiring and freeze its marketing spending as the company began assessing the damage caused by coronavirus-related cancellations.
In the past two weeks, Airbnb has raised $US2 billion in debt and equity in two separate fundraising deals as it looks to build add some financial cushion to help it survive in a travel industry that has been decimated in recent weeks. Airbnb was also reportedly losing money even before the pandemic, threatening to delay the company’s plans to go public this year.
Airbnb did not immediately respond to a request for comment.