As of today, positive cases of the Covid-19 sits at 5.4 million with over 344,760 deaths worldwide. Despite some countries loosening movement restrictions, but it’s very clear that the recovery process might take several years.
By now, it’s pretty obvious that among the worst hit by the deadly virus are the travel, tourism, and arts & culture industries. Shut down of a few hotels in Malaysia, retrenchment of workforce for Genting group as well as chain hotel like Hilton, even Zoo Negara is struggling financially.
Agoda did not have a lucky escape from the global outbreak of Covid-19, lately announced that it’s downsizing the company after previous attempts in reducing costs weren’t as effective as expected.
The Asian online travel giant CEO, John Brown revealed this was a last resort. Brown himself voluntarily forgo his salary for the rest of 2020 prior to arriving to this decision.
“Before getting to this decision we took aggressive measures and every opportunity to reduce costs across the business. Staff reductions will always be the last resort, but we have had to make this very difficult decision. The truth is that while we are seeing some signs of recovery in our core markets in Asia-Pacific, the impact of Covid-19 on the travel industry is deeper and will be more prolonged than we could have envisaged.
“Today, we announce the need to make even greater savings in order to ensure that Agoda can weather this crisis and prepare for the long term. We need to resize and reshape teams to adapt to what travel will look like in the future, and this means that we have taken the very difficult decision to reduce our existing team by 1,500 employees,” Brown said in an email to employees.
Brown had also announced this decision to his employees in a virtual town hall on May 18. The 1,500 people retrenched across 30 nations accounts to 25% of Agoda’s workforce. While, senior leadership members will have their salaries cut by 20% starting June 1. To date, Agoda serves 200 countries, offering 2.6 million properties.
“Naturally, functions where teams workload is volume-driven are most impacted. Most of the cuts are in our CEG (Customer Experience Group) but they are also in product, IT, finance, partner services, marketing and Rocketmiles (which reports to Agoda),” Brown said, adding that this will be the first and last cut.
The company had unveiled EasyCancel in March to allow hotels and properties around the globe to offer flexible booking experience with an option to cancel within 24 hours prior to arrival.
Source : Yahoo Finance