As part of its second workforce reduction in a matter of months, virtual events platform Hopin has parted ways with its COO, CFO and chief business officer, TechCrunch has learned from multiple sources.
It’s unclear if executives left voluntarily or were laid off. Now-former COO Wei Gao, CFO Mark Masters and chief business officer Michael Kostow did not respond to requests for comment. A Hopin spokesperson over e-mail confirmed that the trio is "leaving the business," adding that "after many discussions, we all agreed this was the best way forward for the business."
The loss of top executives puts the growth-stage company — which was once thought it would be IPO ready this year — in a precarious spot during a watershed moment for venture-backed startups in need of becoming more operationally efficient.
Sources also say that Hopin is hiding the total impact of yesterday's workforce reduction. Yesterday, Hopin said that it laid off 242 people, or 29% of employees and said that some contractors and members of a third-party team were laid off. It did not provide exact numbers. Sources and internal documents show that closer to 350 people were impacted by Hopin's reorganization, including those based internationally.
The cuts come just four months after Hopin let 12% of its workforce go, at the time citing a goal of sustainable growth amid the changing market. This time, the company again cited the “macroeconomic climate” and said that the cuts would help the “events product to move forward efficiently.”
A spokesperson claims that Hopin is not close to the end of its runway and instead will be streamlining to offer a more diversified suite of products. Note that Hopin acquired five startups last year, only disclosing that it paid $250 million for Streamyard. The buying spree seems to have played a role in Hopin's first round of layoffs, a 12% cut in February, with the company then saying that it needed to reorganize to align with its goals.
CEO and founder Johnny Boufarhat remains at the company, a business last valued at $7.75 billion.
In a memo sent to staff, obtained by TechCrunch, Boufarhat told remaining staff that there will be more details next week on how the company will move forward.
"A more significant restructuring, simplifying our events business in particular, is necessary to build a profitable and sustainable company," the founder wrote.
Current and former Hopin employees can contact Natasha Mascarenhas by e-mail at email@example.com or on Signal, a secure encrypted messaging app, at 925 271 0912.