[Credit: Vacasa]

Vacasa announces second headcount reduction this year

US: Portland-based vacation rental management company Vacasa has announced its second round of layoffs this year, as part of what is being called a “significant restructuring” of the business.

In an internal company note that was obtained by STRz, Vacasa CEO Rob Greyber summoned staff to a Town Hall to “learn about where we are headed, our new structure and some additional news regarding leadership changes”.

In total, 800 employees – or 13 per cent of the company’s workforce – have been impacted by the layoffs, mainly in corporate and central operations roles. Sources have also told Skift that T.J. Clark, chief commercial officer at Vacasa, is one of the executives to be departing his role, although leadership changes have not yet officially been announced.

It represents Vacasa’s second round of job cuts this year, having laid off around five per cent of its overall workforce [affecting 320 employees] in February, as it sought to achieve profitability. At the time, the workforce reduction impacted two per cent of Vacasa’s local operations team and six per cent of its central staff, costing the company between $4 million and $5 million across the first two quarters of the year, primarily in employee severance and benefits, plus professional service fees.

It also marks the fourth major layoff round of Greyber’s tenure as Vacasa CEO [having joined in August 2022]. The firm let go of 280 team members in October 2022, and then an additional 1,300 people [at that time, a 17 per cent workforce reduction] in January of last year.

Vacasa also announced a large-scale, albeit unspecified, number of layoffs at the beginning of the pandemic.

Over the past year, the company has also seen the departures of chief operating officer [COO] John “JB” Banczak, chief financial officer [CFO] Jamie Cohenchief commercial officer [CCO] Craig Smith, and chief technology officer [CTO] Jeff Flitton. It was also threatened with being delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market if it did not comply with minimum bid price requirements over a 180-day period.

While Greyber previously attributed the redundancies to needing to “eliminate layers of management and optimise spans of control” in order to “build a sustainable, profitable business that delivers value to all our stakeholders”, his latest letter to employees referred to a “softening demand for domestic, non-urban vacation rentals, as well as increases in the supply of short-term rental units”. He added that while they believed certain “headwinds” were beginning to ease, it has become “increasingly apparent this is unlikely to be the case and we are in for another difficult year”.

Amid a challenging economic environment, Vacasa’s net loss in the fourth quarter of 2023 stood at $76.5 million, and the company’s Q1 2024 earnings were revealed after market close on Thursday 9 May.

In the first quarter of this year, Vacasa reported a 12 per cent year-over-year decrease in occupied nights and a seven per cent decrease in gross booking value – representing the fourth consecutive quarter in which the company had seen a drop in bookings. At the same time, Vacasa’s portfolio dipped slightly to around 41,000 homes, down about 1,000 homes on the same time a year ago.

This is a developing story and will be updated in due course.

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