Canadian companies lay off staff amid post-pandemic tech disaster

Here’s a rundown of the top tech layoffs that have hit Canada recently

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Social media management platform. hootsuite inc. became the latest Canadian tech company to issue major layoffs when it announced Tuesday that it would cut 30 percent of its staff.

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The move comes as a cooling economy has dimmed prospects for high-growth companies, especially those that benefited from the shift to e-commerce during the pandemic.

Giants like Amazon.com Inc. have also not been immune to the changing economic landscape. Earlier this month, Amazon said it had cut its staffing levels by 100,000 positions by cutting hiring.

Here’s a rundown of the top tech layoffs that have hit Canada recently.

hoot-suite

Vancouver-based Hootsuite said Tuesday’s 30 percent global headcount cut would bring its headcount to just over 1,000 and was part of an effort to restructure the company.

In an emailed statement, CEO Tom Keizer said the move came as the company was refocusing 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 is indicative of a change in our business that realigns our strategies with the positions we need to be successful,” Keizer said.

Last month, the company announced a rebranding, 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 most prominent company to cut staff when it laid off 10 percent of its staff on July 26 after a gamble on continued e-commerce growth failed.

The cuts of approximately 1,000 employees primarily affected recruiting, support, and sales.

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Chief Executive Officer Tobi Lütke said the company expected the increase it saw at the height of the pandemic to be permanent and thought they needed to expand to keep pace. Instead, growth has since regressed to pre-COVID trend lines as consumers now return to shopping at physical retail stores.

“Ultimately, making this bet was my decision and I was wrong. Now, we have to adapt,” said Lütke.

Article

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

In a post on Article’s website, co-founder and CEO Aamir Baig said the company was operating “at a size larger than current demand would support” and needed to resize the business.

“Like many e-commerce companies, we benefited greatly from the increased demand from COVID. We anticipated that the online shopping trend would continue, that did not happen, and it has since reverted to pre-COVID trends,” he said.

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Clearchus

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

Clearco said 125 people on its 500-strong team were affected by the cuts.

In a memo to staff, the Dragons’ Den star said they were building to match the growth of the economy and now face “significant headwinds” that didn’t exist six months ago.

Simple Riches

Simple Riches laid off 13 percent of its workforce on June 16, citing “immense volatility” in the markets. The financial services company said it has laid off 159 of its 1,262 employees.

In a letter to staff, CEO 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 information from the Canadian press

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