Employment Law

Clearco laying off 25% of staff, Michele Romanow steps down as CEO

A laptop displays coding in various windows. Clearco employees are entitled to severance pay.

After two layoffs in the summer, Clearco is once again trimming its headcount.

News outlets, including CBC News, reported on Jan. 16 that the Toronto-based e-commerce investing company has begun cutting approximately a quarter of its workforce.

The reduction comes after Clearco eliminated 60 jobs in August and laid off 125 workers in July — citing concerns about uncertainty across the e-commerce sector.

Before the July layoffs, reports claim that the company had around 500 employees globally.

Dragon’s Den star no longer CEO

In addition to the job cuts, Clearco co-founder and Dragon’s Den star Michele Romanow confirmed that she is stepping down as CEO.

“As a founder, the most important thing to me is the long-term vision of Clearco,” Romanow said in an e-mail to The Financial Post.

“After running this company for the last eight years, it was obvious we needed new leadership to take the company to new heights.”

A Clearco spokesperson said Andrew Curtis has been chosen to succeed Romanow as she becomes co-executive chairman.

Curtis, who joined the company as an adviser in July, has worked for several major U.S. investment banks, including Merrill Lynch & Co. and Lazard Freres.

Major tech layoffs continue

Clearco isn’t the only major North American tech company that’s kicking off 2023 with significant layoffs.

Hootsuite, Benevity, LightspeedClutchMicrosoft, Cloud Software Group, Amazon, and Salesforce are scaling back their staffing levels as they continue to monitor market conditions.

Thinkific laying off 76 workers, looking to ‘return to profitability’
• Employment lawyer on mass layoffs in the tech industry
• Layoffs in Canada

Termination agreements for Clearco employees

In Canada, non-unionized employees and senior executives at Clearco are owed full severance pay when they lose their jobs due to downsizing or corporate restructuring.

This includes individuals working full-time, part-time, or hourly in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C.

Severance can be as much as 24 months’ pay, depending on a number of factors.

Severance packages in mass layoffs
Severance for technology industry employees
Rights to severance for provincially regulated employees

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains what rights employees have if they are being fired or let go on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Before you accept any severance offer, have an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP review it and your employment contract.

We can tell you if what you have been provided is fair and how to get proper compensation if it falls short of what you are actually owed.

If you aren’t given the full amount, which happens often, you have been wrongfully dismissed and are entitled to compensation.

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