SINGAPORE: After Lazada greeted 2024 with a round of layoffs in Singapore, Digital Industry Singapore (DISG) has said it is working closely with the e-commerce giant to help dismissed employees find other jobs.
The Economic Development Board (EDB), Enterprise Singapore (ESG), and the IMDA (Infocomm Media Development Authority) will be helping workers who were laid off by Lazada.
The exact number of people who have been retrenched so far is unknown. Notices of meetings with the company’s Human Resources department were issued beginning at the end of the day on Tuesday (Jan 2), and the dismissals are said to possibly continue until Friday (Jan 5).
Several departments, such as commercial and marketing, were affected by the dismissals, which BNN has characterized as “sweeping.”
“We are making proactive adjustments to transform our workforce, to better position ourselves for a more agile, streamlined way of working to meet future business needs,” a spokesman from the company was quoted as saying.
He added, “This transformation necessitates that we reassess our workforce requirements and operational structure to ensure Lazada is better positioned to future-proof our business and people.”
DISG, a joint office of EDB, ESG and IMDA, has commented on the dismissals at Lazada.
“DISG is working closely with Lazada and relevant government agencies to assist affected employees in seeking alternative employment opportunities,” DISG executive director Chan Ih-Ming is quoted as saying in The Straits Times.
“While individual companies have to decide how to best position their business and workforce in the light of current economic conditions, Asia’s digital economy continues to expand and we are confident in the long-term growth potential of Singapore’s tech sector,” he added.
The e-commerce company, one of the largest in Southeast Asia, is under the umbrella of Alibaba Group Holding.
Lazada has faced stiff competition in the region from Shopee, which belongs to the SEA Group, and Tokopedia, which announced a partnership with TikTok Shop last month.
In December, Alibaba reportedly poured an additional US$634 million in capital (S$841 million) into Lazada.
The company has faced a number of recent leadership transitions.
Mr Loh Wee-Lee, who used to be the CEO of Lazada Singapore, was allegedly asked to step down from his post in August last year. Additionally, the in-house communications department in Lazada Singapore has been vacant since last year.
Mr Li Chun, who had been the Group Chief Executive Officer of Lazada since July 2020, left his post in mid-2022. He was replaced by Mr James Dong, formerly the head of globalisation strategy and corporate development at Alibaba. /TISG