TripAdvisor founder and CEO Steve Kaufer said in an open letter released yesterday that layoffs of nearly a quarter of its 4000+ employees - 900 worldwide, including 600 in North America - and closure of major offices in downtown Boston and San Francisco are a part of a 3-phase plan to address the downturn in the company's business resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
TripAdvisor's stock is down 37% in 2020 YTD
Employees formerly housed in the Boston and San Francisco offices will be able to work from home, at least for now.
According to Kaufer, under Phase 1 of the reorganization plan, TripAdvisor ended "all unnecessary spending", and Kaufer himself stopped drawing his salary.
In Phase 2, he said, the company furloughed "hundreds of employees", most at its online booking platform TheFork. (In January, under increasing pressure from Google Reviews, TripAdvisor laid off 200 employees and diverted ad spending from TV to digital. See more on this over at TourismMarketer.com .)
Now in Phase 3, the plan calls for mass layoffs along with 20% pay cuts and work hour reductions to 4 days/week for the remaining employees. The company has also paused its 401(k) matching
More office closures are expected, and TripAdvisor will be consolidating some brands and shuffling executives.
Flights, car rental and cruise teams will be part of the company's B2C team reporting to Chief Experience and Brand Officer Lindsay Nelson. The SmarterTravel business unit will be closed.
Chief Commercial Officer Kanika Soni will head B2B restaurant and hotel teams, along with an ad sales team.
Will TripAdvisor survive through the COVID-19 downturn? Watch this space.