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Atrium of the headquarters of Airbnb in San Francisco. Photo by Dllu

Laid-Off Airbnb Employees Lost Mountain of Canceled Stock

Photo: Atrium of the headquarters of Airbnb in San Francisco. Photo by Dllu

Airbnb’s initial public offering, which is expected to be priced Wednesday evening, will give thousands of current and former employees a long-awaited opportunity to sell shares. Some who joined the company in the early years will get a windfall. Others, including those who lost their jobs this year, will face a difficult question: What might have been?

The company canceled about $616 million worth of unvested stock awards through the first nine months of the year, according to public filings made in advance of the IPO. The majority of those awards likely belonged to the roughly 1,800 employees Airbnb let go this spring as the Covid-19 pandemic pummeled its business. It is the largest amount of potential equity wiped away among 20 recent tech listings, an analysis by The Information showed. The forfeited equity shows how the impact of the layoffs extends beyond the immediate job losses.

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