Movers and ShakersNews

Vacasa cuts 25 jobs in sales department

US: Portland-based vacation rental management platform Vacasa has confirmed that it has cut 25 jobs in its sales department.

A Vacasa spokesperson told Skift that the job cuts were not a “cost-cutting exercise” but part of an ongoing effort to “optimise our sales function”. The company revealed that around 0.3 per cent of its workforce had been affected by the redundancies.

The spokesperson said: “We have continuous initiatives in place to optimise resources and teams to where they can be most efficient and effective. In line with those efforts, we have reorganised our sales development team to focus on inbound sales, which resulted in reassignments as well as the elimination of approximately 25 positions.”

It comes after Vacasa hired close to 200 employees to join its reorganised sales department last year, before going public via a merger with special purpose acquisition company [SPAC] TPG Pace Solutions back in December. Since then, it has been reported that Vacasa has employed an “aggressive” recruitment plan so far in 2022.

On appointing former TurnKey Vacation Rentals CEO John Banczak as its chief strategy officer in May, Vacasa claimed to manage more than 35,000 homes across 400+ destinations in North America, Belize and Costa Rica.

Since Vacasa’s stock began trading at the beginning of 2022 at $8.32, its shares have since decreased by more than 67 per cent to $2.69. That is despite raising gross cash proceeds of $340 million and debuting with a valuation of $4.4 billion, shortly after announcing “record-setting” financial results for Q3 in 2021.

San Francisco-based next-generation lodging firm Sonder has fared no better since closing its own SPAC merger with Gores Metropoulos II in mid-January. Despite hitting $10.80 a share in February shortly after its market debut, the company’s stock now trades around the $1 mark.

Vacasa is not the first major short-term rental property management player to make job cuts in the first half of 2022. It was announced in June that Sonder was set to lay off 21 per cent of its corporate team and seven per cent of its frontline staff, while Los Angeles-based AvantStay revealed it had made a number of “job reductions” earlier this month as part of a “gradual reorganisation” of the company.

On top of that, another San Francisco-based short-term rental property management company, WanderJaunt, confirmed that it was shuttering operations across its eight markets in the United States at the start of July, triggering the laying off of around 85 employees in the process.

The Vacasa spokesperson revealed that all laid-off employees would be eligible for rehiring and suggested that additional staff cuts were not on the table.