New CEO and lay-offs coming at Etsy

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It seems like Etsy is having a rough time of it at the moment. There will be change at the helm of the company and redundancies coming. The stock price has been adversely impacted by the news.

The CEO Chad Dickerson is to be replaced by eBay veteran and Etsy board member Josh Silverman who was formerly the head of Skype. 80 staff will be laid off in a cost cutting move, that’s apparently 8% of the total workforce. CTO John Allspaw will also be departing but both he and Dickerson will remain onboard in advisory capacities until the end of the month.

Silverman says on his appointment: “I have a deep appreciation for the mission of Etsy and the unique role that it plays in global e-commerce. Our focus will remain on delivering value to our community, including our shareholders. Having worked at other marketplaces, I recognize how difficult it is to create a differentiated value proposition for buyers that provides a unique opportunity for sellers—and Etsy has done that. In the coming weeks, I look forward to listening and learning from our employees, sellers, buyers and shareholders to help ensure we are focusing on the most value-enhancing near- and long-term opportunities.” You can read the full announcement here.

Etsy is a vital part of the ecommerce ecosystem and one of the big marketplaces but it does seem to have lost rather a lot its lustre in the past year. Part of that will be down to the dominance of Amazon but it seems that their move away from purely homemade items may have muddied its brand too.

Silverman, who was a a veteran at the eBay marketplace for many years, seems like a canny choice in CEO. He should have an appreciation of how eBay dented its own brand when it moved away from the quirky and unique markets back in the day and should be well placed to ensure that Etsy retains its secret sauce.

One Response

  1. the problem w Etsy from a financial markets perspective is that it wasnt moving towards a sustainable profit base and kept relaunching fresh tech projects. as eBay is showing companies need to b hedgehogs… just focus on one or two things and realise implementation takes ages… the country fair online concept is not deep enough to build a business around…

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