Nerdwallet CEO Tim Chen sent out the following announcement to the staff of the personal finance site on Thursday:
I have some tough news to share today.
As part of the 2018 planning process, the leadership team spent a significant amount of time evaluating our needs for next year and has decided to make certain, necessary changes to set us up for long-term success. Sadly, this means we will be saying goodbye to 53 talented Nerds, who have all contributed meaningfully to building NerdWallet. All impacted Nerds have already been notified.This was an incredibly difficult decision and not one we made lightly.
Two factors drove this decision — we’re not hitting our profitability goals, and there are areas within our organization that are not running as efficiently as they should be.
- Profitability: Every year since NerdWallet was founded in 2009, we’ve exceeded our aggressive revenue targets. We got used to exceeding our goals, and it colored our judgment on how prudent we needed to be with our expenses in 2017. Although we did grow this year, we hit some unexpected rough patches that impacted our revenue, which taught us an important lesson in budgeting more conservatively moving forward.
- Operational Efficiency: Our focus on growth in recent years caused us to focus less on certain areas of our business that haven’t been running efficiently. We need to streamline certain functions, speed up others, and put certain processes and infrastructure in place to scale effectively.
Both profitability and operational efficiency are critically important to the success of this company. They allow us to control our own destiny, invest in initiatives with the highest impact, think long term, and most importantly, serve consumers well.
Today isn’t easy, but I’m confident we’re making the right investments as we enter 2018. Our transition to a mobile-first, member-driven company is well underway and something we know consumers want and need. These investments complement the brand and assets we’ve worked hard to build, help us better serve the 100 million people who come to us for help every year, and will propel our next phase of growth.
I want to thank everyone for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to our business. Difficult as they are, these changes move us toward a better operating model and set us up for long-term success. This is the right decision for NerdWallet, but it’s also extremely painful. We’re doing everything we can to support people during this transition and wish them the best.
Talking Biz News is being told that a dozen of the layoffs are editorial employees. In April, the company laid off 40 workers. It now has an editorial staff of more than 80 reporters and editors.