Winnipeg-based SkipTheDishes Inc. has appointed a new chief executive officer amid a leadership shuffle initiated by the Amsterdam-based parent company of the online food delivery platform, as the technology sector faces a significant slowdown.
Less than five months after he became chief executive of SkipTheDishes, Howard Migdal is moving on to become the new chief executive of Chicago-based Grubhub, according to a statement from Just Eat Takeaway.com JTKWY, the Dutch global conglomerate that owns both of those food delivery companies.
Additionally, Mr. Migdal has been cross-appointed as an executive vice-president at Just Eat. Under that role, he will oversee Just Eat’s entire North American operations.
Steve Puchala, who was previously senior vice-president of growth and restaurant success at SkipTheDishes, has been appointed as the company’s interim chief executive and will report directly to Mr. Migdal.
Meanwhile, Grubhub’s current chief executive Adam DeWitt is stepping down after spending nearly 11 years at the company, where he had served as its chief financial officer and president. “It’s hard to leave Grubhub, but it’s the right time for me,” Mr. DeWitt said in a short statement, without noting his future plans.
In mid-November, 2022, Mr. Migdal replaced Kevin Edwards as chief executive after his retirement. Mr. Edwards had led SkipTheDishes through a big expansion of its microfulfilment centres. He even launched Skip Express Lane for the delivery of groceries and other household items beyond restaurant services. But in his last year at the company, Mr. Edwards also oversaw a large number of layoffs.
Just Eat bought SkipTheDishes in 2016 and Grubhub in 2021.
Until last year, many food-delivery companies had grown rapidly, as consumers were stuck at home amid pandemic shutdowns and flush with cash they largely weren’t spending on discretionary expenses.
But now, a broad-based rout is affecting delivery services around the world, as dining resumes in full force and customers cut back on their early-pandemic habits. At the same time, the tech sector is grappling with a downturn in general, which has forced many online platforms to cut costs.
Just Eat said it’s been exploring the partial or full sale of Grubhub, which operates in nearly 4,000 U.S. cities.
In 2022, Just Eat took a charge of nearly US$4.9-billion to write off the value of Grubhub and other acquisitions. Just Eat executives acknowledged that the company’s growth had dwindled, as it reported a loss of about US$6-billion for the past fiscal year. It had roughly US$2.2-billion in cash and cash equivalents on hand, according to its latest annual results.
Jitse Groen, chief executive of Just Eat, said Mr. Migdal will be pivotal in steering the company through this next momentous but turbulent period. “We are confident in his ability to lead and grow the business into the future,” Mr. Groen said in a statement.