When Flexport founder Ryan Petersen picked Amazon client chief Dave Clark to steer the buzzy freight forwarding and logistics startup, he famous that they wanted an “entrepreneur” and a builder, not one other government.
It appears the pair had completely different visions for what that meant. And now, with Clark abruptly out after only one yr on the job and Petersen again within the CEO saddle, it’s getting private.
Two days after Clark’s abrupt departure as CEO, Petersen mentioned the corporate will rescind dozens of employment provides and look to lease out the corporate’s workplace house because it seems to be to get prices below management and “get its home so as,” in line with a put up on the social media web site X, previously often called Twitter.
Flexport is rescinding a bunch of signed provide letters for individuals who have been beginning as quickly as this Monday. I’m deeply sorry to these individuals who have been anticipating to affix our firm and gained’t have the ability to right now. It’s tousled. However no method round it, we now have had a hiring freeze for months I’ve no concepts why greater than 75 folks have been signed to affix. Or why we had over 200 open roles are on our web page. All of these have been canceled aside from a handful of roles instantly tied to our most vital initiatives (eg enhancing timeliness of our freight companies) A Flexport workforce member will attain out to every of you personally asap to clarify the transfer. I hope you’ll forgive us sometime and even think about coming to work right here once more as soon as we get our home so as. However now wouldn’t be a superb time so as to add extra folks and bills to the corporate.
In a separate put up, he famous that Flexport has “grade A” workplace house to sublease in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York Metropolis and different areas around the globe.
“We’ve method an excessive amount of for our measurement–we rented house for a 2x greater workforce!!” he wrote. “New official flexport actual property coverage is we don’t get new workplace house til there’s at all times a line on the toilet within the present workplace house.”
Petersen’s primary complaints round Clark’s management — not less than on public feedback he has made — appear to focus on prices, particularly hiring and increasing too shortly.
Nevertheless, Clark’s hiring and large “entrepreneurial” imaginative and prescient for Flexport was hardly a secret. Clark was really co-CEO alongside Petersen his first six months on the job, not less than according to Petersen’s own comments in September 2022. Petersen then stepped into an government chairman function.
And simply 4 months in the past, Flexport acquired Shopify’s logistics unit, marking a giant growth for the corporate that gives ocean, air, truck and rail freight forwarding and brokerage companies. Shopify acquired inventory that represented about 13% fairness curiosity in Flexport as a part of the settlement.
Petersen even reiterated Friday that he and the board have been properly conscious of what Clark was doing, stating “we have been on it simply trusting within the development plan which hasn’t come by.”
Flexport’s board and Petersen, as soon as taken by Clark’s development technique, have turn into impatient and reversed course. Now evidently curbing spending and changing into worthwhile — not development at any value — is the brand new technique. Clark and a few of his key hires are actually out.
A lingering query is what’s going to turn into of the Shopify logistics unit that was acquired earlier this yr?