Canadian companies lay off staff in post-pandemic tech wreck

Here’s a look at the major tech layoffs that hit Canada recently

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Social media management platform Hootsuite Inc. became the latest Canadian tech company to make major layoffs when it announced it was cutting 30% of its staff on Tuesday.

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The move comes as a slowing economy has clouded the outlook for high-growth companies, especially those that have benefited from the shift to e-commerce during the pandemic.

Giants such as Amazon.com Inc. have also not been immune to changing economic conditions. Earlier this month, Amazon said it cut its workforce by 100,000 positions as it slowed hiring.

Here’s a look at some of the major tech layoffs that have hit Canada recently.

Hoot Suite

Vancouver-based Hootsuite said Tuesday’s 30% reduction in global staffing would bring its workforce to just over 1,000 and was part of an effort to restructure the company.

In an emailed statement, Chief Executive Tom Keizer said the move was made as the company refocused its strategies “to drive efficiency, growth and financial sustainability.”

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“We want to be very clear, this decision is not a reflection on them or their work. It signals a shift in our business that realigns our strategies with the positions we need to be successful,” Keizer said.

Last month the company announced a rebrand, saying it was time to rethink its “integrated brand strategy to better reflect our position and direction as social experts, trusted partners and joyful mentors”. .

Shopify

Canadian tech giant Shopify Inc. was the largest company to lay off 10% of its staff on July 26 after a bet on continued e-commerce growth failed to pay off.

The cuts of around 1,000 employees mainly affected those in recruiting, support and sales.

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Chief executive Tobi Lütke said the company expected the surge it experienced at the height of the pandemic to be permanent and believed it needed to grow to keep pace. Instead, growth has since returned to pre-COVID trend lines, with consumers now returning to shop at physical retail stores.

“In the end, placing this bet was my call to make and I was wrong. Now we have to adjust,” Lütke said.

Article

Vancouver-based online furniture retailer Article laid off 216 employees, or 17% of its team, last week.

In a post on the Article website, co-founder and chief executive Aamir Baig said the company was operating “at a larger size than current demand” and needed to scale the business.

“Like many e-commerce businesses, we have benefited enormously from the increased demand from COVID. We had expected the online shopping trend to continue – it didn’t happen, and it has since returned to the pre-COVID trends,” he said.

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Clearco

Michele Romanow’s startup Clearco laid off 25% of its workforce on July 29, saying the company had increased its workforce too quickly in anticipation of continued growth.

Clearco said 125 people from its 500-person team have been affected by the cuts.

In a note to staff, the Dragons’ Den star said they were building to match the growing economy and now face ‘significant headwinds’ that didn’t exist six years ago. month.

Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple laid off 13% of its workforce on June 16, citing “tremendous volatility” in the markets. The financial services company said it laid off 159 of its 1,262 employees.

In a letter to staff, chief executive Michael Katchen positioned the cuts as part of the fallout from months of seeing the market soar and Wealthsimple grow at an “unprecedented” rate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

With reports from The Canadian Press

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