StubHub has reportedly furloughed all but 150 of its staffers, a drastic reduction that amounts to some 67% of its workforce as it deals with the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 epidemic. Celebrity Access reported its source said an internal email informed staff that the layoffs are expected to last until “at least June.”
The ticket exchange, sold by eBay to Viagogo for approximately $4 billion in a transaction that just closed in February, is based in California, which was the first state to issue a statewide ‘stay-at-home’ order in response to the spread of COVID-19.
“Given then impact of the coronavirus on the live events industry, we have made the difficult but responsible decision to furlough a portion of our employee base,” a statement provided to Celebrity Access by StubHub said. “We continue to support our customers and partners and look forward to a time when we are able to return to the joy of live events and the special, human connections that come with them.”
StubHub had previously laid off more than 100 employees based in California in January. “[StubHub co-founder and Viagogo CEO] Eric Baker and co. have likely realized they’re paying +/- $1 billion too much (they paid 25x EBITDA) and now need to slash salaries to make the debits and credits more palatable,” Sports Illustrated reported a source as saying at the time of those January cuts.
Events across the country are currently paused, with thousands of events postponed or outright cancelled as people seek proper ‘social distance’ to slow the spread of COVID-19. The toll on companies from Live Nation down through sports franchises and even local theater organizations has been heavy, and many have been forced to make cuts that they hope to be temporary to survive the sudden cessation of business.