The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has created unprecedented challenges for our industry, our hotels and our Team Members. Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HLT) is taking decisive action to protect the core of its business and support affected Team Members until this crisis passes and travel resumes.
With travel at a virtual standstill, operations have been suspended across many managed and franchised hotels, and those hotels that remain open have reduced services for guests because of decreased occupancy levels. At the corporate level, Hilton is taking the following actions to significantly reduce expenses and preserve liquidity:
• President and CEO, Christopher Nassetta, will forgo his salary for the remainder of 2020;
• The Executive Committee will take a pay cut of 50 percent for the duration of the crisis;
• Beginning April 4, many of Hilton’s corporate Team Members will have reduced schedules or be furloughed for up to 90 days. During this time, these Team Members will maintain their health benefits and subject to local regulations, will also be eligible for unemployment benefits;
• Corporate Team Members who are not furloughed will have their pay reduced by up to 20 percent for the duration of the crisis;
• Eliminating non-essential expenses, including capital expenditures; and
• Suspending all share buybacks and suspending the payment of dividends – other than those previously declared.
While difficult to make, these decisions will allow the company to weather the current crisis and emerge in the best position to welcome back its Team Members and guests when it is safe again to travel.
Activating Additional Resources for Furloughed Team Members
Through the Hilton Workforce Resource Center, Team Members are being given direct and, in some cases, expedited access to more than 500,000 temporary jobs at more than 30 leading companies including Amazon, CVS, Albertsons, and Walgreens. Hilton hopes to expand this program globally and welcome Team Members back when travel resumes.
Activating Team Member Assistance Fund
Hilton has also activated its Team Member Assistance Fund to help both those Hilton Team Members who have suffered a direct impact, or have an impacted family member, from COVID-19. Hilton Team Members have been making points (converted to cash) and monetary donations to the Fund since the crisis began in China.
Extending our Hospitality to Help in This Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on the travel industry, but Hilton continues to deliver hospitality even during this crisis.
• Across the world, hotels have been donating excess food to local pantries.
• Hilton is assisting local and national governments to provide housing for first responders and health care workers.
• The Hilton Effect Foundation, the company’s charitable arm, is investing in grants to support organizations fighting the spread of infection and aiding communities in need. World Central Kitchen, Direct Relief, and Project Hope, are among the charities whose work will directly help those harmed by the pandemic.
• Hilton also has made it easy for Hilton Honors members to donate their points (converted to cash) to these worthwhile organizations.
Creating Flexibility for Guests
For peace of mind of our guests, all reservations – even non-cancellable stays – on or before June 30, 2020, are eligible for a full refund. For additional information about Hilton’s commitment to our Guests, including how we support travel safety, offer flexibility for booking and cancellations, and protects Hilton Honors membership Points and Status, please click here.
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