One of the trading card market’s largest companies trimmed one quarter of its workforce last Friday.
Oregon-based PWCC Marketplace abruptly laid off over 30 people in multiple departments, most via online conference call with human resources, according to former employees who lost their jobs.
PWCC still has 130 employees, according to company founder and CEO Brent Huigens, who confirmed that about 25 percent of the company’s workforce was let go.
“We were all completely blindsided,” one former employee told SC Daily. “All of our communication and accounts were suspended and terminated while we were on the ten minute call.” The employee indicated the workers who were let go received no severance pay and that PWCC leadership did not take part in the online meeting..
In a message to staff members late last week, Huigens wrote that the move was to “restructure and streamline” the business into “increasingly efficient, technical, and data driven departments.”
He called it “an incredibly tough choice I had to make as it meant letting go of a talented and revered group of people who helped us to achieve our present day success.” Huigens says the change was needed to ensure PWCC’s monthly net profitability as it pursues expansion goals.
“Every department had legacy members removed in service to the newly revamped company vision,” Huigens told SC Daily via statement. “My email to the team last week speaks to this in more detail: as we’ve developed as a company we have become more efficient, technical, and data driven across departments. It’s difficult because we are letting go of amazing people but it makes the organization stronger, healthier, and better positioned for scaling.”
Huigens says PWCC is developing new robotics to handle an increased volume of submissions to its platform and is “incrementally introducing new features on our new digital marketplaces over the coming months, and we are preparing to release a robust financial services tool to the world.
“In addition to these developments we are experiencing sustained growth in our auctions. We have more than 300,000 users on the platform and have broken multiple engagement, bidder, and value records in the past month across both our Weekly and Premier Auctions,” he stated.