(Courtesy Yelp)

Yelp laying off, furloughing more than 2000 employees

San Francisco-based online review platform Yelp announced early Thursday morning that it will be laying off or furloughing at least 2,000 employees.

The news was shared on the company’s blog and via an internal email to employees from company co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman.

“Today we will let 1,000 of our colleagues go and furlough approximately 1,100 more, while reducing hours for others,” said Stoppelman in the email. “Your department leaders will be in touch this morning to discuss how this affects you individually, and letters with more details and FAQs will follow this afternoon.”

Stoppelman explained in the email that the shelter-in-place orders have led to a critical slowdown in the businesses essential to Yelp’s review platform.

“The impact we’ve seen on consumer behavior is staggering: interest in restaurants, our most popular category, has dropped 64 percent since March 10, and the nightlife category is down 81 percent. Gyms are down 73 percent, and salons and other beauty businesses are down 83 percent,” he wrote.

The job cuts were a “last resort”, according to the company-wide email.

“We have reduced server costs, deprioritized dozens of projects, and redone our budget based on ensuring company survival (instead of growth). We have implemented cost savings at the top, including 20-30 percent pay cuts for all execs. Beyond not taking a salary, I also will not vest any of my 2020 stock awards for the remainder of the year,” the email said.

Yelp was founded in July 2004. It reached a net revenue of $1 billion in 2019 and at one point had nearly 6,000 employees around the world.

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