Airbnb to lay off nearly 1,900 people, 25% of company

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Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky at The New York Times Dealbook event on November 6, 2019.

Credit: Mike Cohen/ The New York Times

Airbnb plans to lay off nearly 1,900 employees, or about 25% of the company, a person familiar with the plans confirmed to CNBC.

The layoffs were first reported by The Information, which reported the news would be broken to employees by CEO Brian Chesky in a call starting around 3pm ET.

For Airbnb, these layoffs are the latest obstacle in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic has devastated the entire travel industry. Last month, Airbnb told its employees that it would institute a hiring freeze, suspend its marketing, cut executives’ salary and that it did not expect to give out bonuses for 2020.

Heading into the year, the San Francisco tech company was eyeing an entry into the public markets. The company had lined up bankers to lead the offering, which would test whether Airbnb could live up to its $31 billion private market valuation from 2017. Instead, the company is raising $2 billion in new debt funding at a valuation of $18 billion. The Wall Street Journal reported in February that Airbnb lost $322 million over the first nine months of last year, after reporting a $200 million profit in 2018, as it ramped up spending.

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