Skift Take

It's tough for a new boss, like Vacasa CEO Rob Greyber, to come into a job and then have to make significant layoffs. It's tougher for impacted employees, however.

Just weeks into his new gig as CEO, and having already executed management changes, the Rob Greyber regime at Vacasa laid off 280 employees, about 3 percent of the property management company’s workforce, Skift has learned.

Vacasa confirmed the layoffs tip from sources when reached by Skift and provided details.

The layoffs are mostly among its corporate teams, and less so among property-level workers, such as vacation rental cleaning staffs.

Impacted teams include finance, human resources, legal, marketing, central operations, product, engineering and sales departments.

“Vacasa has made the decision to initiate a workforce reduction,” the company told Skift Friday. “This affects approximately 280 team members primarily within our central teams, representing about 3 percent of our total workforce. We do not take these decisions lightly, but we continuously assess our business, striving to optimize our resources and teams to be efficient and align with our priorities.”

Among Greyber’s priorities is fulfilling Vacasa’s 2022 guidance, issued in August, which included the possibility of breaking even for the year. Officially, Vacasa set its guidance for a range of negative $7 million in adjusted earnings (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) to break-even.

Rob Greyber at an Expedia conference in 2017. He recently became the Vacasa CEO. Source: Expedia

Cost-cutting, if it doesn’t severely inhibit growth, would presumably help in the profitability drive.

Vacasa said Friday that laid off employees would receive severance, healthcare benefits through the end of November for those already enrolled, and job placement services.  

In an earlier round, Vacasa fired around 25 salespeople in July under former CEO Matt Roberts as part of a sales department reorganization. Competitors such as Sonder and Avantstay made their own cuts, too.

Vacasa, which went public late in 2021 and has seen its stock price plummet, as was the case for many similar blank check mergers, has been growing over the years through acquisitions and organically.

Beyond its larger acquisitions of Wyndham Vacation Rentals in 2019 and Turnkey Vacation Rentals in 2021, and smaller purchases of dozens of local vacation rental property portfolios, Vacasa went on a sales team hiring binge last year, recruiting around 200 sales staffers, and at the beginning of 2022 had a self-styled aggressive plan to keep up the hiring pace.

But that was prior to the impact of the Ukraine war, inflation and macroeconomic uncertainties began to be felt, and hence these factors played a role in Vacasa firing the 25 salespeople in July. The company then told many remaining salespeople that they’d better produce or they would be the next ones to be gone, according to a source.

The layoffs announced Friday after market close were much deeper than the earlier round, however, and it’s unclear how deep the sales staff cuts ended up being.

The layoffs comes as Vacasa is apparently in the process of making wider range budget cuts, as well.

March 29, 2023
London
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Tags: future of lodging, layoffs, online travel, online travel newsletter, property management, rob greyber, vacasa, vacation rentals

Photo credit: Vacasa's Portland, Oregon headquarters. The company announced the layoffs of 280 employees on October 21,2022. Vacasa

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