StubHub has become one of the first ticketing firms to confirm plans to ‘furlough’ staff (the term means to put staff on mandatory leave, often unpaid – it’s not clear whether that applies here – as a temporary measure).
“Given the 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,” StubHub’s spokesperson told ESPN.
Industry site Celebrity Access reported that as much as 67% of StubHub’s employees – around 300 people – might have been furloughed. StubHub hasn’t given a number, but ESPN noted that the company “did not dispute these numbers when contacted”.
The news comes shortly after StubHub’s $4.05bn acquisition by rival secondary ticketing firm Viagogo, which completed before coronavirus had its huge impact on the live events industry. We’d expect some (more) criticism to be heading the company’s way: when you’ve just been bought for several billion dollars, furloughing staff is… not a great look.