Startups

One week later: A closer look at the employees affected by Gopuff’s mass layoffs

While initial reports said just 3% of the Philly-founded company's 15,000 employees would be affected, LinkedIn data and announcements show it may be many hundreds more.

Gopuff delivery.

(Courtesy photo)

Update: Additional comment from a Gopuff spokesperson has been added. (4/8/22, 4:24 p.m.) Further additional comment from a Gopuff spokesperson has been added, as has the note that this is a developing story. (4/9/22, 2:05 p.m. and 4/11/22, 12:28 a.m.)
The layoffees have taken to LinkedIn.

On March 29, the news broke that Philly-founded, on-demand delivery company Gopuff was slated to lay off 3% of its workforce. But the number may be much higher.

The change was reported last week to affect mostly “top-earning managers outside Gopuff’s core delivery operations,” as a source told The Information. The move came as Gopuff is close to closing a $1 billion convertible note, led by Guggenheim Partners, which a Gopuff spokesperson confirmed in an email to Technical.ly this Thursday.

While Gopuff leadership — with a $15 billion valuation last July — had previously been in discussions to take the company public, a source close to the matter told Bloomberg last week that the Callowhill-headquartered company no longer has immediate plans for an IPO. The source cited less secure global economic conditions than predicted last year, and a trend of legacy tech companies slowing down on raising sizable investments.

The layoff news was confirmed on March 31, when an internal memo was shared with Gopuff employees from co-CEOs  stating that immediate layoffs were part of “entering Gopuff’s next chapter.” The memo says the company operates in more than 1,200 cities across four countries, employing “more than 15,000 people.”

“As part of the strategy we are rolling out, we are restructuring our organization, resulting in the elimination of approximately 3% of our global workforce across all levels — including senior leadership,” reads the memo, which the Gopuff spokesperson shared with Technical.ly. “These decisions are not a reflection of the performance of any person or team, but rather a realignment of our workforce to reflect our current priorities. All teams across Gopuff will be impacted as we plan for this year and beyond. The task of consolidating roles across the company was incredibly challenging and we did not arrive at these decisions easily.”

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Gopuff cofounders Rafael Ilishayev (L) and Yakir Gola. (Courtesy photos; image by Technical.ly)

The letter outlined that affected employees would be provided severance packages and that everyone would remain a shareholder of the company “regardless of how long” they were employed. But the claim that just 3% of the company’s 15,000 workforce were affected by the layoffs came into question in the days that followed.

LinkedIn data shows that the layoffs may have totaled more than 1,000, not hundreds, like the company implied in its internal memo. Messages from impacted former employees flooded the professional-focused social media platform over the last week, with many mentioning that they were “one of 1000+” people impacted.

“Along with thousands of my colleagues, today I was laid off at Gopuff,” one Philadelphia-based technical recruiter wrote in a LinkedIn post.

After this story published, the Gopuff spokesperson contacted Technical.ly and said “thousands” is inaccurate, and that the 3% figure is accurate, but repeatedly declined to share exact numbers of both total Gopuff employees and of those affected by layoffs. The spokesperson again contacted Technical.ly after we updated this story and said the 3% figure means “approximately 450 people” were laid off, and that employee numbers don’t include delivery drivers.

“Gopuff has 15,000 employees and 3% of employees were affected by a global company restructuring. This is approximately 450 people,” said Brigid Gorham, Gopuff’s senior manager of corporate communications, via email. “For Technically to ignore the facts that we have provided and insinuate something higher is completely irresponsible and inaccurate.”

The cuts indeed came from across teams, with many mentions that the company’s recruiting teams were gutted. Big losses seem to have hit its marketing department. Members of Gopuff’s internal tech team were let go, too. LinkedIn announcements show that layoffs affected those with titles like quality leader, communications specialist, brand partner manager, director of photography, government and community affairs principal, marketing manager, recruiting leader, building engineer and operations and strategy leader.

Messaging from those who remained at the company appeared uniform — “Today is a hard day at Gopuff,” many posts began.

One Philly-based recruiter serving the engineering and data science teams wrote in a LinkedIn post that for the first time in a while, he was the one on the market for a new role.

“Those are words I never thought I would be saying or typing anytime soon,” he wrote. “I joined Gopuff when Engineering was a team of 10 and left it with a team of almost 500, and I enjoyed every second of it. Unfortunately due to the impacts today, I am looking for my next opportunity in recruitment.”

When asked how leadership came to the decision to make layoffs, Gopuff’s spokesperson pointed to the internal memo. Several former employees contacted on LinkedIn did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

This is a developing story.

Companies: Gopuff, LinkedIn
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