Brooke Thackray discusses Shopify
Shopify Inc. hired Morgan Stanley investment banker Jeff Hoffmeister as its next chief financial officer, almost two months after the Canadian e-commerce giant slashed its workforce.
Hoffmeister, who spent more than two decades in Morgan Stanley’s technology investment banking group, will succeed CFO Amy Shapero when she steps down Oct. 27, the Ottawa-based company said Thursday in a statement.
“As we position Shopify for the future, the addition of Jeff to our leadership team will continue to strengthen our ability to deliver value for our merchants, partners and investors,” Chief Executive Officer Tobi Lutke said in the statement.
Shopify also appointed Kaz Nejatian, vice president of product, to chief operating officer, effective immediately. He replaces Toby Shannan, who is retiring and plans to join Shopify’s board. The leadership changes come as Shopify grapples with slowing e-commerce growth that prompted sweeping layoffs and souring sentiment on its pummeled share price.
The “change-up is a bit of a surprise and timing raises questions on both 3Q trends and whether we see another reset in the next few quarters,” Barclays analyst Trevor Young said Thursday in a note to clients. The change was unexpected, he said, given that Shopify executives are presenting at various conferences this week and the announcement distracts investors from comments on the company’s future.
In July, one day before it released worse-than-expected second quarter results, Shopify said that it would slash about 10 per cent of its workforce as Lutke acknowledged the company’s decision to expand rapidly coming out of the pandemic didn’t pay off. Its share price has plunged 78 per cent this year, prompting a series of analyst price target cuts.