TripAdvisor to cut 900 jobs as COVID-19 stalls travel business

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, is cutting job of 900 employees or about 25 percent of its workforce as the COVID-19 crisis pulls down the global travel industry.
The company said it will have specific country-by-country notification and consultation processes to determine the future of 300 employees outside of the U.S., TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer said in a memo to employees.

TripAdvisor had about 4,200 employees. TripAdvisor previously announced job cut for 200 employees, CNBC reported in January. Those cuts represented about 5 percent of TripAdvisor’s workforce at the time and mostly affected its experiences division, which works on travel activity offerings.

TripAdvisor is also furloughing an undisclosed numbers of employees and closing its San Francisco and downtown Boston offices, allowing remaining employees to work remotely or from the Needham, Mass. office, respectively.

TripAdvisor is pausing 401K matching in the U.S. and asking salaried employees in most markets to work four days a week and take a 20 percent pay cut. TripAdvisor is also closing open roles that aren’t deemed an immediate, essential need.

Kaufer said at the end of March he will forgo his salary for the rest of the year. Kaufer made nearly $800,000 in base pay in 2018 plus incentive-based compensation that brought his pay close to $2 million, CNBC reported.

Before the pandemic, TripAdvisor faced challenges from Google’s entrance into the travel search market.

Executives at TripAdvisor and Expedia pointed to lower visibility on Google to help explain their disappointing third-quarter earnings reports.

Travelers across the globe use the Tripadvisor site and app to browse 859 million reviews and opinions of 8.6 million accommodations, restaurants, experiences, airlines and cruises.

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