The job cuts at Kayak and OpenTable represent the first reported layoffs and furloughs at parent company Booking Holdings growing out of the coronavirus crisis other than for 48 contractors at Booking.com whose agreements weren’t renewed. Few travel companies will emerge unscathed so it wouldn’t be surprising if more cuts were coming at other Booking brands.
Citing a tremendous drop in revenue from the coronavirus pandemic, Kayak and OpenTable laid off, furloughed or handed out reduced hours to 400 employees, Skift has learned.
Steve Hafner, the CEO of both of these Booking Holdings brands, informed employees of the job cuts in an email Wednesday that Skift obtained.
“We did everything we could to avoid these steps,” Hafner wrote. “But our revenue has dropped tremendously from the COVID-19 crisis. And despite our hopes for a quick recovery, most experts now predict a prolonged downturn. It’s time to adjust our team accordingly — like so many others in the travel and dining industry.”
Of the 400 employees impacted, 160 are being laid off, and and 240 are subject to furloughs or reduced work hours. These impacted jobs represent around 1.5% of Booking Holdings' global workforce, and roughly 20%-25% of the Kayak-OpenTable roster.
Other than 48 contractors whose agreements weren’t renewed at Booking.com in Amsterdam, these are the first reported Booking Holdings job cuts growing out of the coronavirus outbreak.
Hafner wrote the company considered several approaches to cost-cutting but ultimately decided to trim office and personnel expenses 20 percent.
The Kayak co-founder said his direct reports are taking 15% salary reductions for the rest of the year, and he already waived his own.
Separately, Reuters reported that Hungarian competition watchdog GVH has fined online reservation operator Booking.com 2.5 billion forints (6.1 million pounds) for unfair business practices, including misleading advertisements and psychological pressure on consumers.
Read original article