On March 23, 2020, Booking Holdings released a letter from Glenn D. Fogel, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, to all employees of the Company.
I’m writing today to firstly say thank you to everyone in our entire Booking Holdings family. I know how hard each of you, across all of our companies, have been working. I also want to extend a special thank you to the customer service teams who have had to deal with enormous volumes, as well as the IT teams who were able to get us up and running as a virtual company so quickly. Years from now we will look back and be so proud of a lot of what we accomplished during this time.
I am also writing to give an update on new actions we are taking in response to COVID-19. As I discussed in my Town Hall video a few weeks ago, this is not the first major disruption to travel we have endured as a business, but the impact of COVID-19 is more than all the previous disruptions I mentioned combined. We know that eventually COVID-19 will no longer dominate our lives and prevent people from traveling, but no one knows for sure when this will happen. This unpredictability requires us to act prudently and put control measures in place to position the company for the long haul. These actions will ensure that we can continue to support our employees, customers and partners through this crisis, and be better positioned for the recovery that we know will come.
Some of the recent measures include:
• Cutting non-essential business travel across our business
• Cancelling internal company events and offsites
• Dramatically reducing marketing spend worldwide
• Implementing a general hiring freeze company-wide until further notice
In addition to the above measures, the brand CEOs (Steve Hafner, John Brown and Brett Keller) and I have made the decision to forego our salaries during this time of the crisis, effective immediately. Our Board of Directors has also voluntarily declined to accept any cash retainer payments during the same time period.
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