Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz announced at an all-hands video call that 45% of the staff would be laid off following the surge of event cancellations during the COVID-19 crisis. Ninety percent of the sales team was released, in an event a former sales employee dubbed “Blood Orange Wednesday.”
Eventbrite’s core business is ticketing live events. And while the current crisis has put group gatherings on hiatus, the company has faced some challenges prior to the pandemic, including struggling to integrate Ticketfly following its acquisition in 2017. Most recently, stock prices plummeted to around $7 or less than 20% of the share price when the company went public in 2018.
A spokeswoman for Eventbrite said in a statement provided to news outlet Protocol that the company would be "connecting with every employee to provide clarity around what these changes mean specifically for them and their role through 1:1 video meetings and, in some cases, small group video meetings, since we're all working remotely. We'll be continuing to communicate with employees to share additional information and address questions over the coming days."
Eventbrite is under pressure to pivot to online events, which made up only 10% of its business last year. While Eventbrite’s stock surged 10% after news of layoffs, the company has yet to reveal a plan about how to structure their business going forward.