Coronavirus

TripAdvisor Cuts 900 Staff As COVID-19 Decimates Travel

TripAdvisor to lay off 900 employees

TripAdvisor is further cutting staff after already doing so earlier this year, with the coronavirus’s crippling blow crushing the travel business, according to a report by CNBC.

The company will cut 900 employees from its worldwide staff, or about 25 percent of its workforce.

That’s in addition to the decision earlier this year to let go of around 200 employees. In the U.S. and Canada, around 600 workers are being eliminated in this new round of cuts.

Prior to the cuts, TripAdvisor had around 4,200 employees worldwide.

Company CEO Stephen Kaufer will also take a salary reduction for the rest of the year. In 2018, Kaufer made around $800,000 in base pay, as well as incentive contributions that brought him up closer to $2 million.

Kaufer said TripAdvisor has now moved beyond the initial response to the virus. Now, the company is in cost-cutting mode. The company previously announced cuts to discretionary spending and furloughed hundreds of workers based on European subsidy programs. Kaufer said those methods weren’t enough.

The company will pause 401(k) matching for now, too, and it is asking salaried employees to work only four days a week and take pay cuts. Those reductions, Kaufer said, will save around 100 jobs.

Kaufer said in a memo to employees that another 300 workers “will be engaged in specific country-by-country notification and consultation processes to determine their future employment status.”

TripAdvisor is also furloughing another undisclosed number of employees and closing offices in San Francisco and Boston. The employees from San Francisco will be able to work remotely, while Boston employees can work in the Needham, Massachusetts, office.

The company was seeing adversity even before the pandemic when Google announced it was entering the market for travel searching. TripAdvisor, along with competitor Expedia, pointed to that as an answer to why their third-quarter earnings were low.

Back then, Google became a target for criticism that it had been promoting its own service over those of competitors by putting its own holiday rental search box over theirs.

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