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B.C.-based Hootsuite to lay off 30 per cent of staff, begin global restructuring

Social media company the latest to announce cuts as investor interest in tech stocks has faded
The Hootsuite logo is shown in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Hootsuite *MANDATORY CREDIT*

Hootsuite Inc. said Tuesday it will lay off 30 per cent of its staff as part of a global restructuring.

The Vancouver-based social media business declined to answer questions about the exact number of staff laid off or what triggered the job cuts, but the most recent figures from financial data firm Refinitiv show the company employs about 1,000 people.

“Today is a hard day at Hootsuite…This sadly means we are saying goodbye to some of our people,” said Hootsuite CEO Tom Keiser, in a statement.

“These people are our colleagues and our friends. They are some of the best in their fields, and we will do whatever we can to help them land well elsewhere.”

He added that the move will help the company once considered a darling in Canada’s tech scene to realign itself with strategies that can make it successful. In particular, he said Hootsuite needs to refocus, so it can drive efficiency, growth and financial sustainability.

He declined to elaborate further on the restructuring, saying, “Today our focus is on our people, both those who are leaving us and those who are staying, and ensuring our customers continue to receive the support they need.”

Hootsuite’s cuts come as tech companies have conducted similar layoffs in recent weeks as investor interest in tech stocks has faded.

Among the most high profile was Shopify Inc. which laid off 10 per cent staff last month, after Wealthsimple had already slashed its workforce by 13 per cent.

Also in the mix is Clearco, an e-commerce investing platform run by “Dragon’s Den” star Michele Romanow, which reduced its head count by 25 per cent at the end of July.

Data from shows 493 startups worldwide have laid off about 67,562 employees this year.

Hootsuite’s Keiser has been at the helm of the company since 2012, when he replaced founder Ryan Holmes.

Under Keiser’s tenure, Hootsuite acquired artificial intelligence chatbot company Heyday for $60 million in 2021.

At the time, it said it wanted to buy the Montreal-based company because the e-commerce sector was rapidly moving onto social and messaging platforms, and the purchase would give Hootsuite more opportunities to help brands elevate their customer experiences.

—Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press

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