Shopify, the $57billion e-commerce platform, sacks Aussie workers in an email

E-commerce platform Shopify cuts staff in a late-night email as shares plummet – leaving sacked workers furious

  • Shopify cut 10 per cent of its 10,000-strong global workforce in an email
  • Now, shocked Aussie employees have criticised a lack of communication 
  • Firm saw shares plunge after peaking during pandemic online shopping boom 

A major e-commerce platform has suddenly sacked a swathe of its Australian workers in a late night email – leaving them furious at the lack of communication.

Shopify, which is worth around $57 billion dollars, said it was cutting about 10 per cent of its 10,000-strong global workforce in the email late on Tuesday night. 

The firm’s founder Tobias Lütke wrote that he had expected the pandemic-fuelled surge in online spending to continue – but admitted he had ‘got it wrong’ after the company’s shares plummeted.

Now, Aussie employees have revealed they weren’t consulted about the redundancies, having believed they had survived an earlier round of cuts.  

Shopify, which is worth around $57 billion dollars, cut about 10 per cent of its 10,000 global staff members late on Tuesday night. Pictured is founder Tobias Lütke with Barack Obama

Shopify, which is worth around $57 billion dollars, cut about 10 per cent of its 10,000 global staff members late on Tuesday night. Pictured is founder Tobias Lütke with Barack Obama

Now, Aussie employees have revealed they weren't consulted about the redundancies

Now, Aussie employees have revealed they weren’t consulted about the redundancies

‘There’s been a lot more process over there [in North America],’ one former employee told the Brisbane Times

‘But nothing here. Nothing. We’re all talking to each other trying to figure out what’s going on.’ 

‘We thought we had survived a re-organisation,’ another employee said. 

‘There’s a lot of anger as well, some of the others I’ve spoken to were crying.’ 

Shopify is behind the software that runs online stores like JB Hi-Fi and also has partnerships with brands like Amazon. 

During the pandemic, the company expanded rapidly as lockdowns and anti-Covid measures saw a surge in online shopping. 

However, it has since seen the market slow and turn, with its shares plummeting 80 per cent from its peak last year. 

All Shopify staff received an email at about 10.30pm on Tuesday night, Australian time, from Mr Lütke, who is also the company’s global chief executive, informing them about cuts.  

Affected staff were then sent more detail, with Aussie workers offered slots to talk to managers or HR on Tuesday.

The Canadian-based firm offered cut workers 16 weeks’ pay, plus another week for each year of service. 

It has promised to let staff keep company-bought home office furniture and to remove ‘equity cliff’ rules that can stop former employees keeping shares in the company.

A spokesman for Shopify referred Daily Mail Australia to Mr Lütke’s email to staff, which the company also posted publicly, when contacted for comment. 

In an email, the firm's founder Tobias Lütke, pictured with wife Fiona McKean, said he had expected the pandemic-fuelled surge in online spending to continue - but said he 'got it wrong'

In an email, the firm’s founder Tobias Lütke, pictured with wife Fiona McKean, said he had expected the pandemic-fuelled surge in online spending to continue – but said he ‘got it wrong’

In his email, he said he had hoped the lockdown surge in online shopping would be permanent – but admitted he had ‘got this wrong’. 

‘When the Covid pandemic set in, almost all retail shifted online because of shelter-in-place orders. Demand for Shopify skyrocketed,’ Mr Lütke wrote.

‘Shopify has always been a company that makes the big strategic bets our merchants demand of us – this is how we succeed. 

‘We bet that the channel mix – the share of dollars that travel through ecommerce rather than physical retail – would permanently leap ahead by 5 or even 10 years. We couldn’t know for sure at the time, but we knew that if there was a chance that this was true, we would have to expand the company to match.’

‘It’s now clear that bet didn’t pay off. Ultimately, placing this bet was my call to make and I got this wrong.’

Source

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