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Yelp announces more than 2,000 layoffs, furloughs in response to pandemic

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NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 26: Employees of the online review site Yelp watch as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at the new East Coast headquarters of the tech company on October 26, 2011 in New York City. The Bloomberg administration has been heralding and working to facilitate the tech sector in New York City in hopes of making New York City a rival to Silicon Valley for start-up companies. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Yelp announced Thursday 1,000 employees have been laid off and others furloughed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In an internal email shared on the Yelp website, Yelp co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said today’s layoffs represent a 17% staff reduction.

In addition to the layoffs, another 1,100 employees were furloughed.

Those employees are considered on unpaid leave until further notice (with some exceptions) — they will receive two weeks of additional pay and retain their benefits.

“Before considering layoffs, Yelp tried to cut costs in different ways. The company has reduced server costs, which makes sense given that traffic has shrunk both on mobile and on the website,” the statement read.

“Interest in restaurants, our most popular category, has dropped 64% since March 10, and the nightlife category is down 81%. Gyms are down 73%, and salons and other beauty businesses are down 83%,” Stoppelman added.

According to the statement, many projects were “deprioritized” and executives had accepted a 20 to 30% pay cut, with Stoppelman himself forfeiting his salary.

The company expects $8 to $10 million in charges due to severance and benefits costs.

Yelp is just the latest to announce layoffs and furloughs in response to the pandemic. Tesla and Macy’s also announced widespread cuts.

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