Michele Romanow is stepping down from her role as CEO of Clearco as the e-commerce investment business she co-founded lays off staff.
Clearco spokesperson Nick Rosen-Wachs said: Dragon’s Den The star’s career change in an email to The Canadian Press on Monday said she would be replaced by Andrew Curtis.
Curtis joined Clearco in July 2022 as an advisor and has held financial roles at major New York investment banks, including Merrill Lynch & Co. and Lazard Freres.
Romanov never leaves the company altogether. She now shares the role of executive chairman with Romanow co-founder Andrew D’Souza, who stepped down as CEO nearly a year before her, following a romantic breakup with Romanow.
“Michele will lead our external relations, including a key role in leading our fundraising efforts,” Rosen-Wachs said in an email.
Michele will remain an integral part of the company and this leadership transition brings the founding team closer to the business while bringing in an experienced financial leader. “
The shift is taking place as tech companies see valuations fall from COVID-19 highs, investor enthusiasm wanes, and consumers return to their pre-pandemic habits.
A number of companies, including Shopify, Netflix, Wealthsimple and Meta, have implemented layoffs in recent months, with several chief executives responsible for the cuts and blamed for misjudgments in the sector’s growth. increase.
Clearco, founded in 2015 by Romanow, D’Souza, Charlie Feng and Ivan Gritsiniak, began layoffs on Monday, cutting 25% of its staff, Rosen-Wachs said.
The company previously laid off 125 employees from a workforce of 500 in July, before laying off 60 in August and handing over its international operations to British and Australian e-commerce investor Outfund.
Despite achieving unicorn status with a valuation of over $1 billion in 2021 and $400 million in equity financing from high-profile investors such as SoftBank, Clearco is more friendly than other lenders. It is particularly vulnerable to the current tech downturn because it provides funding and loans to startups on terms.
Speaking at the Elevate technology conference in Toronto in September, Romanow said he didn’t believe Canada’s economy and technology sector had bottomed out.
“Technology is seeing the first kind of bump on this road, and it could get worse,” she said.
Layoffs.fyi, a layoffs aggregator, found that 1,024 global tech companies laid off 154,336 employees in 2022 and in the two weeks of January.
“Being an entrepreneur is very hard work,” Romanow said at Elevate.
“Even when the sun is shining, when it starts to rain and economic conditions deteriorate, this is very difficult.”