Etsy Fires CEO Chad Dickerson, Lays Off Staff
Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson has been fired. The board of directors for the online marketplace is replacing Dickerson with board director Josh Silverman, effective immediately. Dickerson, who has served as CEO since 2011, is also losing his board seat to New York investor Fred Wilson. Etsy is also laying off 8 percent of its staff in a cost-cutting move. The moves come as Etsy is being attacked by the activist investor Black-and-White Capital, which is pushing the company to cut costs, improve its user experience and consider a sale, according to Bloomberg.
Total Retail’s Take: Etsy has been struggling with consumers increasing shift to mobile shopping. Although the company’s mobile site is its most visited shopping “storefront,” its conversion rate is lower than on its app and desktop site. Etsy plans to reinvest the money saved from staff layoffs into machine learning to improve product recommendations and the browsing experience for its customers. The online retailer said on an earnings call that it needs to highlight its unique and relevant inventory to the right consumer at the right time. Etsy is betting that machine learning will help with that goal.