[Credit: Vacasa]

Vacasa announces more layoffs and COO departure

US: Portland-based vacation rental management platform Vacasa has announced that it will lay off around five per cent of its overall workforce, affecting 320 employees, as it seeks to become a profitable business.

The workforce reduction will impact two per cent of Vacasa’s local operations team and six per cent of its central staff, while it will cost 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.

In an internal company note, Vacasa CEO Rob Greyber 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”.

Amid a challenging economic environment, Vacasa’s net loss stood at $76.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, albeit compared to a loss of $302 million 12 months prior.

In the same email, Greyber confirmed that chief operating officer [COO] John “JB” Banczak would be departing Vacasa at the end of March, although he will still serve as an adviser to the company for the next six months to ensure a smooth transition. Vacasa has already commenced the search for a new COO.

Banczak, who joined Vacasa after its acquisition of vacation rental management company TurnKey Vacation Rentals in April 2021, was appointed as COO of Vacasa in February 2023.

In that time, Vacasa has laid off more than 1,500 employees across two rounds, firstly letting 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 property management company has seen its chief financial officer [CFO] Jamie Cohen, chief commercial officer Craig Smith, and chief technology officer Jeff Flitton all step down, and it was threatened with being delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market if it did not comply with minimum bid price requirements over a 180-day period.

Vacasa becomes the latest large company in the hospitality and real estate sector to announce workforce reductions over the last week, with Sonder cutting 17 per cent of its corporate workforce and Expedia Group reducing its team headcount by nine per cent [1,500 jobs].

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