Earlier today, Skift broke the news that Lonely Planet would be making changes to its global content business.
On Thursday morning Melbourne time, Lonely Planet leadership spoke to staffers, and employees quickly began sharing details of the staffing cuts. Australian media reported numbers up to 100, but the final tally will likely be less due to moves within the organization.
We spoke with COO Daniel Houghton, who did not deny the cuts or reorganization but disagreed with some of our assertions:
“We are not relocating our digital roles to Nashville,” Houghton said. “We have digital resources around the world at LP and will continue to maintain that global presence. That part of the headline is inaccurate, as well as the statement on shifting roles from Melbourne to Nashville. None of the changes today reflect any movement in existing roles to Nashville.”
Asked whether new, rather than existing roles, would be created in Nashville, Houghton said, “We are still in the process of determining the best location for new roles that don’t exist already in the business going forward, however those could be in any of our global offices.”
Australia will remain a fixture in the LP firmament, according to Houghton. “The change has nothing to do with the Australian office costing more than another office. We do have the most roles in the company supporting the publishing model in that office.”
Houghton added, “It has been a difficult time for staff, but again, it’s not a process that can be rushed. We have one of the best brands in travel that is loved around the world and there are so many opportunities that LP has to take advantage of. These changes will allow us to liberate the enormous potential the business has moving forward, and build on the company’s 40 year heritage.”
In addition to Houghton’s clarifications, he shared this statement from Lonely Planet:
Lonely Planet today announced to staff and contributors a series of changes to its operations in response to a challenging external environment and to position the company for continued success.
Unfortunately, as a result of these changes a number of positions at our offices around the world have the potential to be affected and we are in consultation with individuals whose roles may be impacted.
These changes will enable Lonely Planet to be well positioned for ongoing success and investing in the future in line with our 40 year heritage.