Apr 9, 2020 - Technology

Yelp cutting 1,000 jobs, furloughing others

Ina Fried, author of Login

An image from a Yelp donation program launched in the wake of Covid-19. Photo: Yelp

Yelp told employees Thursday that it is cutting 1,000 jobs and furloughing another 1,100 workers amid a massive drop in its business.

Why it matters: Yelp is the latest company catering to small businesses that has seen much of its customer base decimated amid the COVID-19 outbreak and related shutdowns.

What they're saying: "This rapid shutdown of local economies has directly affected our business, and the magnitude and duration of the impact are unknown," Yelp said in a statement. "To ensure that Yelp can weather this crisis and be best positioned to serve the community when the recovery begins, we must significantly reduce our operating costs."

Context: Yelp had 5,950 employees as of the end of 2019.

The big picture: Yelp has seen customer interest in restaurants down 64% since March 10, with nightlife, gyms and beauty salons down 70% or more, CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said in an employee email posted to the company's website.

All told, the millions of local businesses hit hardest by the effects of COVID-19 face the prospect of closing and laying off their employees, without knowing when, or if, they’ll be able to reopen.
— Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman

The company is also:

  • cutting server costs;
  • deprioritizing dozens of projects; and
  • cutting executive pay by 20% to 30%.

And Stoppelman is not taking a salary and will not vest any further stock awards this year.

Flashback: Yelp last month launched a $25 million program giving ad credits to small businesses and also partnered with GoFundMe on a donation program, though it was forced to revamp the program after some customers complained.

Go deeper: The coronavirus's domino effect on startup layoffs

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Why it matters: Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, needs to win 425 of the 479 delegates up for grabs in order to officially clinch the nomination. There are a number of key down-ballot races throughout the country as well, including a primary in Iowa that could determine the fate of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

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Why it matters: King's history of racist remarks has made him one of the most controversial politicians in the country and a pariah within the Republican Party.

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Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day — prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Protesters were still out en masse even as curfews set in in New York City and Washington, D.C. Large crowds kneeled at Arizona's state capitol nearly an hour before the statewide 8 p.m. curfew, and a peaceful march dispersed in Chicago ahead of the city's 9 p.m. curfew.