Carousell is the Next Tech Company to Lay off People, Affecting 110 Jobs

Here’s a question, what do the employees from Shopee, Stripe, and Meta all share in common?

Hint: Carousell employees now share this commonality with these tech firms too.

110 Jobs Cut on Thursday

Singaporeans’ favourite online marketplace, Carousell, just cut 110 jobs.

You read that right – it’s yet another job cut from a tech firm.

On Thursday, all Carousell employees received an e-mail from the co-founder and chief executive of Carousell, Quek Siu Rui, explaining that only some business units will be affected by this cut.

The exact number of workers laid off and affected units in Singapore? The CEO did not reveal that in the e-mail.

Mysterious? Or just evasive?

A spokesman for Carousell, however, revealed that approximately 50 of the affected roles were based in Singapore.

What about the 60 other affected roles?

The remaining cuts were spread across the seven other regional markets in which Carousell is present.

You read that right, Singaporeans aren’t the only ones using Carousell. Our neighbours, such as Malaysia and Indonesia, use Carousell too.

“I am deeply sorry for this outcome, and I take responsibility for the decisions that have led us here,” Mr Quek said.

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The silver lining is that all affected regular employees will receive a minimum three months’ salary payout and cash in lieu of their remaining paid time off.

Affected regular employees’ medical benefits will also be extended until 30 June next year.

If you’ve worked at Carousell between six months to a year and happen to hold employee stock options, you will have the vesting for 25 per cent of your stocks accelerated.

“Critical Mistakes Made”

The CEO also added that the company had made critical mistakes in the period post-COVID-19 lockdown.

Learning from their mistakes from the current exercise, the firm will hold a meeting to refine its strategy.

Even the hotshots make mistakes too.

Among other mistakes, Mr Quek raised how returns took longer than expected, and how he had underestimated the impact of the quick expansion of the Carousell team immediately after COVID-19 lockdowns eased.

“Larger teams lead to lack of clarity in decision-making and the additional coordination required to get things done,” noted Mr Quek.

Of course, the commonly cited trio of high inflation, geopolitical risks and supply chain disruptions are apparent problems standing in the firm’s way as well.

In the last few months, leaders in the firm have been trying to reduce costs as much as possible without cutting jobs. They even took voluntary pay cuts.

The moves were however, not enough and they had to resort to these job cuts.

Well, at least they tried.

The Creative Media and Publishing Union (CMPU), which represents e-commerce employees in Singapore, is working closely with the buy-and-sell platform to ensure the retrenchment exercise is fair, transparent and responsible.

CMPU also added that Carousell and itself are working with NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute to support affected employees with employment assistance.

“The union stands in solidarity with the affected employees, and its immediate priority is to continue working closely with Carousell to ensure that these workers receive the necessary assistance and support,” CMPU shared.

The Carousell group had just reached unicorn status after raising US$100 million (S$135 million) at a US$1.1 billion valuation in September 2021.

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Featured Image: Carousell