Thread regarding Expedia Inc. layoffs

A day before layoffs email , Peter sent this to employees.....Sad

Hi Team,
It’s been a while since I’ve reached out, and honestly I’ve been waiting/hoping for some noteworthy good news to convey - but in mid-October, in what feels like the 35th month of Covid, with days getting shorter and colder in the Northern hemisphere and second waves starting across parts of Europe and the US, I got tired of waiting. Unfortunately our industry continues to be incredibly challenged, and while the news on vaccines remains hopeful, it is still difficult to know when travel will return to pre-Covid levels. As a result, we have seen airlines, hotels, and the hospitality industry in general take massive hits and sadly have to lay off thousands of our colleagues across the industry. We, of course, have not been spared either and have had to make very difficult decisions about our business and our people. Much as we would like things to be different, we remain dependent on the medical and scientific community and on people around the globe following their recommendations.

So plenty of gloom and doom out there but - as I’ve told our Chairman - while it is easy to be pessimistic, I take the alternative view. If someone had told me there was going to be a global pandemic with a high mortality rate, I would have bet on much lower travel than we are currently seeing. It is a testament to humankind’s wanderlust, need to explore, need to change its scenery, and need to take time away from its routine. It is a reminder that the answer to our needs is not found on a screen but out there in the world. And that ultimately travel will be back. I, for one, do not believe a year from now we will still be baking sourdough bread, zooming every interaction, and not going to gyms or bars or movie theaters or restaurants. There will be a flood of demand as the world opens up and the travel industry will be back.

Despite the outside world not cooperating, a lot of important work continues inside the company. I thank all of you for leaning in and not letting the malaise of “Covid time” impact the velocity of your work. Great things are happening across the company and millions of our customers and suppliers will be the ultimate beneficiaries of the work we are doing right now. But today’s note is not about the work. Today I am writing to try to help us all keep our heads up and find a way to navigate the next several months while we continue to deal with the uncertainty. So, while I have no magic tricks, I thought I’d share a few recent bright spots of my own:

1) I voted this week. For those of you in the rest of the world, the US elections are upon us with official Election Day on November 3rd - but with many states allowing early voting. This is not just about the president or Senate seats but impacts our local communities with school boards, judges, city councils, etc. It took me a bit of time and effort to read up on all the local candidates, but I was happy to do it and I hope you all have a plan to get your votes in and, if possible, volunteer to help in the process. I have no political agenda, we are all entitled to our own beliefs, but we also all have an obligation to vote those beliefs. I hope all of you will do your civic duty and know that we will support whatever time you need to do so.

2) A month ago, I started watching a series of talks from the National Gallery in London. They apparently have recorded some of their short art lectures for everyone’s consumption. I have so far watched talks on Caravaggio, Canaletto, Botticelli, and others, but there are many on the Italian and Dutch renaissance, among others. They and other museums around the world have these kinds of talks focusing on works in their museums, and for me, it gives me a little sense of travel (I love a good museum) and expands my mind. I recommend a look -

3) My wife has been watching the Pasta Grannies, which is a collection of videos of Italian nonne (grandmas) who have all been making pasta since they were little girls and who take you through making their favorite pasta recipes. It’s fun to watch and beats the hell out of sourdough. And if you like to cook, it will hopefully be inspiring. Having had the good fortune of eating the home-cooked food of a few nonne in Italy, I can tell you it is worth watching.

4) There was a story this past week about the power of getting outside and focusing on other things. They did a study where they asked elderly people to go out for at least a 15-minute walk every day. They found that it had a material impact on their mental health, but interestingly they then told part of the group to focus while they walked on finding something awe-inspiring. Maybe a butterfly, or a sunset, or a building, whatever. Those people were even better off and on an interesting side note, they asked both groups to take selfies while they were out and the group who was told to look for awe had selfies where their own image was an increasingly small part of the picture. In other words, if you focused on the beauty outside, you start to worry a little less about your own uncertainty and issues. Got to be worth a try for all of us.

5) Don’t know if this is true but a site on Facebook posted this video and claims that watching a beaver eat cabbage lowers stress by 17%. Having watched it now a half a dozen times, I would argue it is even better than that -

A few other thoughts to keep you going - while it may be Fall and soon Winter in the Northern hemisphere, remember our colleagues in the Southern hemisphere are finally getting Spring and Summer - so everyone down South - enjoy. Try to do some of your work off-screen - if you have a 1:1 and can do it by phone - do it. We have to stop staring at the screen all day. If you haven’t volunteered to read kids’ books for our internal channel to help our colleagues' kids get through the day - do it. I did it, my wife Kirsten does it every Wednesday, and it makes you feel good. And if it feels like even the beaver eating cabbage isn’t helping, be sure to look at all the mental health resources we have on Basecamp.

So that’s it. No business update today. After earnings in November I hope to deliver our next town hall and share with everyone what I am learning and how our leadership’s view of the future is evolving. But in the meantime, as we continue to suffer through these difficult and uncertain times, please find your outlets, find your funny animal videos, and stay healthy.

Hang in there, PK

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Post ID: @OP+17E9wdzv

2 replies (most recent on top)

How are your employee going to buy food and pay rent or mortgage ?

Post ID: @6eke+17E9wdzv

"So that’s it. No business update today."....except the part out where a ton of people will be laid off. Must've been "decided" over night. Riiiiight. WTH

Post ID: @2lsx+17E9wdzv

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