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Agoda axes 1500 staff as Covid-19 crisis decimates bookings

Asian online travel agency and metasearch engine Agoda has shed 1500 staff in a major downsizing brought on by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The cuts equate to more than a third of the company’s regional payroll believed to be 4000.

The move is a “last resort”, according to CEO John Brown, who has personally pledged to waive his own salary for the rest of the year while the travel industry plummets globally. Other senior staff have also faced 20-per-cent cuts in salaries.

“Before getting to this decision we took aggressive measures and every opportunity to reduce costs across the business,” said Brown. “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.”

The announcement was made during a virtual town hall with employees this week, and formalised in an email to all staff.

According to Brown, most staff cuts are in the firm’s customer experience group, as well as in product, IT, finance, partner services, marketing and the Rocketmiles programme. The CEO said this will be the first and last cut in staff.

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