Shopify CMO departs the company amid structural shake-up

Jeff Weiser is out as Shopify‘s chief marketing officer, part of a restructuring of the e-commerce company’s marketing department that comes just days ahead of its latest financial results.

According to a report by the tech blog BetaKit, which quotes an internal e-mail to employees from CEO Tobi Lütke, Shopify’s marketing under Weiser—who assumed the CMO role in 2018, working out of New York—”didn’t work.”

According to BetaKit, Lütke’s e-mail said that the Canadian e-commerce giant intends to merge its marketing department with the product department currently headed by chief product officer Craig Miller, who served as Shopify CMO from 2011 to 2018.

“The rebooted marketing team will operate less like an agency and more like one company,” said Lütke’s note to employees. “At one point in the past, marketing and product were integrated and growth was planned into the product work from the build phase onwards. We need to get back there.”

The news comes as Shopify prepares to release its fourth quarter results next week. According to a Financial Post story, quoting a consensus estimate by Thomson Reuters, it is expected to expect a loss of US$1.43 per share for the year on revenues of $1.56 billion.

Shopify launched its first integrated brand campaign under Weiser last year. “Let’s make you a business,” developed with R/GA, acknowledged what we called “the smouldering ambitions of wanna-be entrepreneurs,” including headlines encouraging people to launch a business and use Shopify to build it.

The company also launched a studio with the aim of creating content celebrating entrepreneurs. At the time, Shopify said that the content would encompass short-form videos, podcasts, docu-series and feature length documentaries for streaming and traditional platforms.

Weiser was named to Forbes‘ second annual “CMO Next” list, celebrating what it called “50 game-changing CMO leaders,” last fall.

Chris Powell