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Tripadvisor Lays Off Over 900 Employees, Cuts Pay for Most Others

Tripadvisor’s San Francisco and downtown Boston offices, two of the company’s at least 38 locations, will be permanently closed.

Tripadvisor, the travel company known for its review and recommendations platform, has laid off more than 900 employees and instituted pay cuts due to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an open letter released on Tuesday, Tripadvisor CEO and co-founder Steve Kaufer said that roughly a quarter of the company’s staff — more than 600 in the U.S. and Canada, and nearly another 300 outside the U.S. — would be affected by the layoffs, which come as part of a three-phase plan that Tripadvisor’s executives had begun implementing to address the downturn.

In Phase 1, Kaufer wrote, the company ended all nonessential spending and he declined to take a salary. In Phase 2, Tripadvisor furloughed “hundreds of employees,” primarily at TheFork, the company’s online reservation platform.

“We had hoped cutting discretionary expenses and furloughs would be enough, but as the pandemic worsened, it became clear that the company needed to take additional cost saving measures,” Kaufer said, thus citing the need for Phase 3, which called for the mass company layoffs and temporary 20% pay cuts and work hour reductions for most of the remaining salaried staff.

Those who are laid off will receive severance pay and “outplacement support,” Kaufer said, and U.S.- and Canada-based employees will continue to receive health insurance for an unspecified “period of time.” Meanwhile, Tripadvisor’s San Francisco and downtown Boston offices will be permanently closed, 2 of the company’s at least 37 locations.

“These are the most difficult cost-saving decisions I have ever had to make. But I, and the Executive Leadership Team, firmly believe they are necessary and proportionate to the reality we face as a business and as an industry,” Kaufer wrote.