Skift Take

Oyo's decision to part ways permanently with furloughed U.S. employees is tied to its view that the lodging company's full global recovery wouldn't occur until the second half of 2021. It's a nice gesture to give them stock options, although the jury is out on whether they'll be worth much in the long run.

Lodging company Oyo informed U.S. employees furloughed because of the impact from coronavirus that a “large majority” of them would be laid off but receive stock options, Skift has learned.

Chief Operating Officer Abhinav Sinha, in a Wednesday email that Skift obtained, told furloughed U.S. employees that Oyo doesn’t expect a full recovery globally until the second half of 2021. (See the email embedded below.)

“We knew this crisis was real and could take time, but we were hopeful that we could leverage our global resources to re-engage after the furlough,” Sinha wrote. “However, the reality is, the impact on our business has been deeper, and the recovery has been slower than what we had anticipated.”

Oyo’s businesses globally are generating only about 30 percent of pre-Covid-19 levels, although India’s occupancy rates are “finally starting to move up” from lows of 6-7 percent, the email said. In the United States, revenue is 25 percent lower than January levels and occupancy is around 30 percent, the company said.

Sinha wrote that Oyo’s U.S. business is “showing positive signs of recovery,” and has benefitted from its footprint in second- and third-tier cities because economy lodging “has proven to be more resilient during this crisis.”

Oyo hasn’t publicized how many of its U.S. employees have been furloughed although it furloughed thousands of employees around the world in April. In January, Oyo laid off some 360 employees in the United States, around one-third of its U.S. workforce at the time.

The COO’s email said the company created an $18 million pool to fund employee stock options. In addition to the stock options, Oyo is providing employees with a job-placement service and “extended health care and other separation support.”

The company will inform employees individually whether they will be laid off.

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Tags: coronavirus, furloughs, layoffs, occupancy, oyo, travel recovery

Photo credit: An Oyo hotel in Las Vegas. The hotelier informed U.S. furloughed employees on June 24 that most of them wouldn't be returning. Danielle Hyams / Skift

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