shopify toronto

A huge Canadian tech company just cut thousands of jobs in Toronto

Tons of massive tech and other companies have flocked to open offices in Toronto in recent months, but as much as the sector may be thriving, not everyone's ambitions for growth are realistic in the post-COVID landscape.

The city is indeed an internationally-renowned hub for tech brands and startups, with companies like AdaptavistAmazonDoorDashGoogle, Netflix, NitroPinterest, Reddit, StripeTikTokUber, Wayfair and more setting up shop here in the last few years.

But one company — a Canadian one at that — appears to have been a little to heavy-handed with its Toronto expansion.

Shopify, headquartered in Ottawa, opened up a sprawling nine-floor, 180,000-square-foot office in Toronto in 2019, their second in the city, with plans for a third in the Well once the development is finished. It also made plans to double its workforce by this year.

But today, the e-commerce brand announced that it is laying off approximately 1,000 people, or 10 per cent of its staff, immediately.

The positions impacted include "over-specialized and duplicate roles," as well as some in recruiting, support, and sales.

"When the Covid pandemic set in, almost all retail shifted online because of shelter-in-place orders. Demand for Shopify skyrocketed. To help merchants, we threw away our roadmaps and shipped everything that could possibly be helpful," the company's CEO wrote in a release today. 

He added that, given the steady growth of e-commerce, the firm made a "bet" that the industry would jump ahead by five or 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," reads the release. "It's now clear that bet didn't pay off... Ultimately, placing this bet was my call to make and I got this wrong. Now, we have to adjust."

The affected employees will be cut by the end of Tuesday, with the company assuring those remaining on board that Shopify is not in trouble, but will "grow into something more focused, more driven, and more singular in mission." 

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