On May 5, after almost two months of working alone in his San Francisco apartment, Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s chief executive, cried into his video camera.
It was a Tuesday, not that it mattered because the days had blurred together, and Chesky was addressing thousands of his employees. Looking into his webcam, he read from a script that he had written to tell them that the coronavirus had crushed the travel industry, including their home rental startup. Divisions would have to be cut and workers laid off.
“I have a deep feeling of love for all of you,” Chesky said, his voice cracking. “What we are about is belonging, and at the center of belonging is love.” Within a few hours, 1,900 employees — a quarter of Airbnb’s workforce — were told they were out. [Emphasis added.]
Microsoft’s professional networking site LinkedIn said on Tuesday it would cut about 960 jobs, or 6% of its global workforce, as the coronavirus pandemic is having a sustained impact on demand for its recruitment products. [Emphasis added.]
Wow, those are some huge tech companies. I can’t imagine how it would take that many people to do a tech company, but then again, I’m not a millionaire or billionaire, so it’s clear that the tech companies I’ve worked for never were that, erm, successful.