Shopify Inc. SHOP-T is replacing two of its top executives, a significant change to the Ottawa-based e-commerce company’s senior leadership as it aims to bring itself back on track during a continuing downturn.
Amy Shapero, Shopify’s chief financial officer, will step down after third-quarter earnings are released in late October, the company announced Thursday. Over the past five years, Ms. Shapero helped lead the company through a period of explosive growth before the current slowdown in the sector, which has led to Shopify laying off more than 10 per cent of its global work force in recent months.
She will be replaced by long-time investment banker Jeff Hoffmeister, who spent more than two decades at Morgan Stanley in its technology investment group. While he was there, he led a number of high-profile transactions, including Shopify’s initial public offering in 2015.
Shopify also announced on Thursday that it has a new chief operating officer. Kaz Nejatian has been promoted into the role after serving as the company’s vice-president of product. He led the development and delivery of new amenities for the company’s nearly two million merchants, including Shopify Capital, a small-business loan service, and Shop Pay, a checkout tool.
Before joining Shopify in 2019, Mr. Nejatian was the lead product manager at Facebook. He succeeds Toby Shannan, who is retiring from his role and is expected to serve as a special adviser on the company’s board of directors from early 2023 through the end of that year.
Trevor Young, an analyst at Barclays, told clients in a note that he was surprised by Thursday’s leadership changes. He noted that the announcement arrived after the company revealed a massive loss in the second quarter. At the same time, Shopify warned of more losses ahead.
Mr. Young added that the executive shuffle distracts from questions about Shopify’s future, with the company expected to field investor inquiries at several conferences this month.
ATB Capital Markets welcomed the change, telling clients in a note that while “CFO departures can be viewed as negative, given how depressed the stock is, we do not expect a significant impact.”
“The addition of Jeff, a Wall Street veteran, introduces the opportunity to reposition the company with investors,” ATB wrote.
Ms. Shapero has not yet revealed her plans for after she leaves Shopify. The company declined interview requests on behalf of its executives on Thursday.
In a news release, Ms. Shapero said she is proud of the progress she has seen at Shopify during her time there.
“There are so many opportunities ahead for our organization and I look forward to continuing to work closely with our talented team,” Mr. Nejatian said in the same release.