Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen tells employees ‘get back to work people’ amid rumors about layoffs that could come as soon as Friday

  • Flexport employees are preparing for layoffs they believe could come as soon as Friday.
  • Two said they were not able to access their pay slips on Workday.
  • “Get back to work people!” CEO Ryan Petersen said on Slack Thursday.

Employees at Flexport are bracing for layoffs, which they believe will occur as soon as Friday.

Employees were unable to view their pay stubs on the HR software Workday on Thursday, according to two employees. One employee stated that before losing access to Workday’s pay tab, they saw a pending pay slip scheduled to be issued on Friday, which led them to believe that they would be laid off soon. According to them, the current pay period began just this week. These employees requested anonymity in order to speak freely, and their identities are known to Insider.

Meanwhile, Flexport CEO and founder Ryan Petersen told employees in the “ask-exec-team” Slack channel on Thursday, “Get back to work people!” Insider saw the comment in response to a series of questions about executives’ success tips posed by an employee.

Another employee inquired about the upcoming elimination of the Bravely coaching benefit.

“We are cutting much more than just Bravely,” Petersen responded in Slack to the question.

On Thursday, Flexport representatives did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.

On September 7, the day after its former CEO Dave Clark departed, Insider first reported that Flexport was planning layoffs. The size and timing of the layoff were unknown at the time. According to multiple sources, Petersen stated during a September town hall that Flexport was spending too much money and that the company needed to focus more on helping customers.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the job cuts could affect up to 30% of the company’s workforce and would most likely occur before the end of the month.

Clark was a long-time Amazon executive whose departure surprised many. He mentioned Petersen’s desire to return to the helm in his farewell message. The following day, Petersen hinted at more changes in a series of posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, with the caption, “Strategic Plan, Day 1: Make better decisions!” He then canceled several job offers, saying, “I have no idea why more than 75 people signed up to join.”

According to the WSJ, a number of executives, including some who joined Clark from Amazon, have left Flexport in the weeks since Petersen returned to the helm. Before Clark’s surprise departure, at least three senior engineering leaders who joined Flexport as part of its acquisition of Shopify Logistics left the company.

Flexport laid off 20% of its workforce earlier this year, owing to the economic downturn and lower freight volume.

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