Shopify scales back internships in wake of stock slide

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Shopify is cutting the number of student internships it’s offering this fall as the company rethinks its hiring plans in the wake of a market slide that’s seen its stock price plummet more than 80 per cent since November.

In a statement to OBJ on Friday, Shopify spokesperson Alex Lyons said the Ottawa-based software firm will “continue to evaluate and hire for mission-critical roles, teams, and skills to ensure we are best structured to support our millions of merchants. Our fall internship will continue with a reduced number of roles, which we have completed hiring for.”

Shopify confirmed it did not cancel any signed offers to its fall interns, but the company said it is pausing further recruiting efforts in order “to focus on more immediate initiatives.” 

Shopify did not immediately specify how many interns it plans to hire this fall or how that number compares with previous years.

The cancellations will affect mostly college and university students as well as some workers who are early in their careers. The company hires interns in three separate application cycles each year for roles such as developers, digital product designers, data engineers, production engineers and data scientists.

Staff cuts

The move comes as Shopify is reportedly scaling back hiring on other fronts and cutting staff amid a downturn that’s hammering the tech sector. 

The Globe and Mail recently reported that the company is delaying a plan to revamp its compensation model that would give employees more leeway to decide how much of their salary is paid in stock and how much is paid in cash. The report also said Shopify has laid off at least 50 people since April and has pressed pause on dozens of job offers as it braces for further economic uncertainty.

After more than quadrupling in value during the e-commerce boom earlier in the pandemic, Shopify shares are down more than 80 per cent from their all-time high of nearly $223 (adjusted for a recent 10-to-1 stock split) set on the Toronto Stock Exchange last November. 

Shopify stock closed at $40.69 on Friday, up 52 cents on the day.