Simple is cutting staff as it shifts its focus to building better technology.
The Portland-based company slashed about 10 percent of its staff on Wednesday, including several executives, according to The Oregonian.
The Oregonian noted that Simple’s chief marketing officer, chief people officer, vice president of operations, and vice president of engineering were all let go.
Michelle Broderick, Simple’s CMO for the past two years, was one of 20 staffers who recently began working out of a new office in Seattle. We’ve followed up with Simple in regard to impact on the Seattle office and will update this post when we hear back.
Update: Simple spokesperson Shauna Causey told GeekWire that the Seattle office is not affected by the layoffs other than the departure of Broderick, who will leave after a transition period. “Michelle helped Simple achieve many of the company’s goals over the past few years,” Causey said. “She played a critical role in the changes we’re making to refocus on being a product organization.” Causey also confirmed that 33 people were let go; Simple’s current headcount is about 300.
Update No. 2: Broderick sent this statement to GeekWire:
“One of the best parts of working with a high-functioning executive team is that you all work together to make decisions on what is right for the company as a whole, and not what is right for any one function, team, or person. We made the hard decision that right now is not the time to grow Simple’s customer base, and without the thrill of growth a company does not need a fully staffed executive team, or a CMO. A change like this is not something we undertook lightly and we worked hard on the best path forward for the company and are now working together on the transition plan. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned at Simple and I am excited to apply them to my next growth focused role.”
In a blog post, Simple CEO Joshua Reich explained that the company has been “focused on growth instead of innovation.”
“We have been acting like a bank instead of a technology company,” he wrote. “And that changes today.”
Founded in 2009, Simple offers a bank account and Simple Visa Card to a customer base that grew by 86 percent last year. The company, acquired for $117 million in 2014 by banking giant BBVA, prides itself on not charging fees and offering easy-to-use web and mobile apps. Its employee base had grown by 300 percent in the past three years before the layoffs.