Kobo’s new CEO Takihito Aiki has been shaking things up since he took over the job 3 months ago. Earlier this month one senior manager was promoted while another left the company, and today new news is breaking that Kobo has right-sized 63 positions.
Kobo has reportedly laid off 63 people since Aiki took over. Given Aiki’sreputation as a turn-around specialist, this is likely one step in his plan to make Kobo profitable.
According to Kobo’s statement, “By ensuring the Kobo team is lean and agile, we will be able to strengthen our business position and continue our trajectory of global growth,” said René d’Entremont, a Kobo public relations manager. “While these decisions are never easy, we believe that we have the structure that puts us in the best position possible to aggressively compete in an ever-challenging global marketplace.”
Initially launched in 2009 as Shortcovers, Kobo is the leading ebook retailer in Canada and one of the leading ebookstores in France, South Africa, and Australia. The company was acquired in late 2012 by Rakuten, a global retailer with $5 billion a year in revenue.
“As part of this change, teams have been restructured and optimized; redeploying employees to best use their skills to support the company’s core goal of providing the best global eReading experience. All our offices will continue to operate as usual, with a mandate to grow the business in each of our territories.”
Kobo currently employs more than 400 people worldwide.