- Thrasio is largely credited with developing the Amazon aggregation space.
- The company has raised over $3 billion and had planned to go public before growth stalled.
- Now Thrasio is laying off staff and has announced a new incoming CEO.
Thrasio, the company that helped create the Amazon aggregator segment, is in turmoil. The company is making layoffs and replacing its only remaining founder and CEO, Carlos Cashman, according to an email obtained by Insider.
Carlos Cashman will be replaced in August by Greg Greeley, an Amazon veteran who led the company’s Global Prime program, according to a release from Thrasio. Greeley was most recently a president at Airbnb. Cashman will remain on the Thrasio board as a director.
The layoffs are expected to impact marketing, creative, and brand operations. Two sources close to the matter said the layoffs could impact up to 20% of staff. In an email to staff, Cashman and another exec, Danny Boockvar, only said the company planned “to reduce the size of the Thrasio team.”
Thrasio did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Amazon aggregators compete to buy the most successful brands on the site and improve their marketing, packaging, and positioning to increase their profitability. The buzzy aggregator space is estimated to be worth over $10 billion. Thrasio, the largest Amazon aggregator, has raised about $3.4 billion.
But recently, growth has slowed significantly in the space, with consolidation and layoffs have becoming increasingly common.
In October of 2021, Thrasio scrapped plans to go public via a
according to CNBC. The news came after a series of top executives left the company, including Josh Silberstein, a cofounder and CEO, who resigned in September 2021.,
Silberstein is largely credited for spearheading the company’s rapid pace of acquisitions. In a February 2021 news release, Silberstein said that “Thrasio is now closing two or three deals every week.”
In the memo sent to staff announcing layoffs, Cashman and Boockvar alluded to problems brought on by its “hypergrowth,” as it rapidly acquired new companies. “At times we have been acquiring a new company almost every week and running hard to build the infrastructure to support this growth,” the memo said.
The execs said that Thrasio needed to focus on the companies it had already acquired: “We need to take the time to properly absorb and grow the businesses we have acquired, make sure we have rigorous processes and controls, and then look to re-scale our team in the optimal areas for growth.”
The company leaders said it would focus on refining its M&A process and focus on operations in corporate development and marketing, while also saying the company needs to build out more internal infrastructure.
“We’ve identified where we need to continue to scale our internal systems to capture the opportunities in front of us and support our ongoing growth,” the memo said.
The company noted that all of this was happening in “an environment with a pandemic, a war, a sharp rise in inflation, supply chain disruptions and changing consumer behaviors.”
Since launching in 2018, Thrasio acquired over 200 brands as well as other aggregators. But former employees told Insider they grew too quickly.
“It wanted to compete and be like a tech firm, which is a hundred percent not the case, and they were scaling as if they were a tech firm, which just isn’t scalable in the physical goods space,” said a former employee who left Thrasio earlier this year.
Although rapid growth wasn’t unusual for a high-growth startup, some employees said the company was scaling without clear direction or long-term planning.
“People were trying to build the plane as they fly it, but in order to fly a plane, you need fuel. And the fuel, in this case, would be the data and the information and the structure — and we didn’t have any of that,” another former employee told Insider. “So it’s like we’re building a plane that’s not gonna go anywhere because there’s no fuel. There’s no infrastructure to drive it.”
Are you a current or former Thrasio employee with a tip about the company? Contact this reporter via email at [email protected], via encrypted message on Signal at +1 (646) 374-8461, or via Twitter direct message @anngehan.
Read the email below:
Subject Line: Update on Transformation – Organizational Changes
From: Carlos Cashman, CEO and Danny Boockvar, President Thrashers,
As you know, we’ve been working to execute a transformation that will strengthen the foundation we’ve built and ensure we’re set up for a strong and sustainable future. As we’ve assessed the market landscape and our organization, we continue to see significant opportunities ahead, and we need to make some strategic and operational changes to ensure Thrasio is positioned for long-term success.
Today we are sharing the news that we’ve made the decision to reduce the size of the Thrasio team. This is not an easy decision – especially within a culture like ours that is shaped around community and sharing. Each one of you has helped build this business. To those who will no longer be on the journey, we’re hopeful and confident this is a launching pad for your next great adventure, and we’ll make sure we do whatever we can to help support that transition.
As the next step in our transformation work, we’re also publicly announcing that Greg Greeley, a highly accomplished executive whose experience includes almost two decades at Amazon, will join our Board immediately and become Thrasio’s CEO in August. At that time, Danny will remain in his executive role reporting to Greg and Carlos will transition from his executive position and focus on his role as a Director on our Board. In our opinion, there is nobody more qualified than Greg to lead the company in its next chapter and he will have our enthusiastic support.
We know this is a lot to take in. We are sharing some perspective on why and how we made these decisions, and important information on next steps.
Thrasio Has Grown Rapidly
In less than four years of hypergrowth since our founding, we became a top 5 seller on Amazon and launched a category that has inspired some 150+ global competitors and driven nearly $15 billion in capital raised. Our scale and reach is remarkable: we estimate that 1 in 6 US households has purchased a Thrasio product. At times we have been acquiring a new company almost every week and running hard to build the infrastructure to support this growth.
You’ve done a phenomenal job managing through that; your perseverance and grit have been inspiring, and you’ve all made important contributions to the growth of Thrasio.
Now, as we assess our strategy for the road ahead, we need to take the time to properly absorb and grow the businesses we have acquired, make sure we have rigorous processes and controls, and then look to re-scale our team in the optimal areas for growth.
Our transformation process has already led to several important adjustments to our business focus: refining our M&A machine to ensure our platform can optimally integrate our acquisitions, streamlining products, and focusing our operations in corporate development, product, and marketing. In addition, we’ve identified where we need to continue to scale our internal systems to capture the opportunities in front of us and support our ongoing growth.
We’re also undergoing our transformation in an environment with a pandemic, a war, a sharp rise in inflation, supply chain disruptions and changing consumer behaviors. We’re positioning Thrasio to be nimble and able to build on our strengths as we navigate the road ahead.
How We’re Approaching the Change
We’re committed to conducting this change with the respect, empathy, and candor all Thrashers deserve. We’ve been thoughtful and deliberate in determining the workforce reductions that were necessary. We took a fresh look at our vision, and assessed teams, functions, people, and skill sets, mapping them to the critical areas we need going forward. As part of this effort, we’ve also redeployed people to contribute in areas of the organization needing their skills and experience.
To the Thrashers who will be leaving the company: these reductions are not a reflection of you or your work. You’re talented and dedicated, and any company would be lucky to have you. We deeply appreciate all you have given to Thrasio. We’re committed to doing everything we can to set you up for a successful next step in your career.
To those of you who are saying goodbye to teammates, take this time to honor and support your colleagues who are leaving. Share contacts, make introductions, and find other ways to help them.
What Happens Next
Impacted Employees: This evening (Eastern Time), you will receive a calendar invite to a 1:1 departure meeting to take place with a leader on your team either tomorrow or Wednesday, May 4. Your final working day will be May 13.
We will provide you a combination of severance, healthcare, job support, and
accelerated vesting of some of your options. We have engaged an outplacement provider to help you with career transition support including 1:1 coaching, resume and LinkedIn profile writing, and access to a platform with tools and resources to help you find your next opportunity. We are setting up an alumni network to help Thrashers stay in touch and support one another. We will share more details in the coming days.
We will still hold today’s [email protected] so we can share a few words and provide an overview of how the next couple days will go. Thrasio senior leaders have been asked to bring their teams together for a huddle before the end of the week as well.
New Leadership and Our Path Forward
While we are making some difficult but necessary decisions to respond to the changing environment, the long-term opportunity that Thrasio was created to pursue remains and there will be many more opportunities ahead. We have a market-leading platform of brands that lead their categories, a supportive model for sellers, and a wealth of experience that will help us navigate the current uncertainty. Our ongoing transformation will position us to continue to grow and fulfill our vision.
As Thrasio’s new CEO, Greg Greeley is fully supportive of our transformation and we and the Thrasio Board of Directors are confident that he is the right leader for Thrasio’s next chapter of growth.
Greg brings invaluable experience and expertise from his 19 years at Amazon, where he served in a variety of leadership positions including building, scaling, and leading Amazon’s global Prime program from inception to over 100 million paid members. Over the past 18 months, he has served as President and COO of Opentrons, a high-growth biotech startup that launched the Pandemic Response Lab specifically to provide millions of people low-cost Covid-19 tests here in the US. Before that, he served as President at Airbnb during a period of dynamic growth. He is a seasoned executive with a proven track record of scaling high-growth companies and has a deep appreciation for Thrasio’s culture, value proposition, and long-term potential.
Just as importantly, throughout his career, Greg has earned a reputation as an exceptional manager who builds strong teams and invests in developing leaders. We are excited to welcome him to Thrasio and you’ll have an opportunity to hear from him in an upcoming [email protected]
In the meantime, the most important thing we can do is support our colleagues who will be moving on and collaborate in our ongoing transformation to position Thrasio for long-term success and ongoing growth.
Carlos and Danny