Honestbee confirms 10% cut of staff, CEO rumoured to exit

UPDATE: According to news from TechCrunch, Honestbee’s CEO Joel Sng has been let go after helming the role since December 2014. Several media outlets have reported that Sng had “vacated the office”. Honestbee has yet to respond to Marketing‘s queries on Sng.

Meanwhile, Honestbee has clarified that it will be halting its services in Indonesia and Hong Kong, as well as its food vertical in Thailand as part of an ongoing strategic review of its business.

A spokesperson from honestbee said to Marketing that its services in Japan and the Philippines, along with specific partnerships in other markets will also temporarily be suspended as part of this review. According to honestbee, some roles within the organisation will no longer be available as approximately 10% of its global headcount in the organisation is said to be affected.

The spokesperson added that this review was necessary to help the company focus and align its regional business, and more importantly, to enable it to better meet customers’ needs. However, the status of honestbee’s business in the remaining markets stands unchanged. Responding to Marketing’s queries on changes in Singapore and Malaysia operations, a honestbee spokesperson said the status of honestbee’s business stands unchanged in these two markets.

Citing media reports lately on the delay in payroll for its employees, the spokesperson said this was untrue and that it will ensure all employees across all markets, including Singapore, are paid in a timely manner. “In addition, we are also committed to fulfilling our financial obligations to all Bees, partners and vendors,” the spokesperson added.

Honestbee started its operations here in Singapore four years ago. It said the launch of habitat by honestbee in Singapore last October marks the next phase in its evolution as a food company. “Today, we are a regional business committed to making great food experiences accessible to customers across Asia. Over the past four years, we have demonstrated commitment to our staff, partners and customers, and continue to innovate and improve our business to stay relevant in today’s rapidly-changing business environment,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile in February this year, honestbee temporarily suspended its grocery concierge service with FairPrice. In a statement to Marketing at that time, a spokesperson from honestbee said that it is reviewing its processes and service levels with its partners as it looks to provide the best product and service offerings for its customers.

In recent news articles, honestbee also ended its partnership with U Stars supermarket in Singapore. According to several media outlets, honestbee emailed its “shopper bees” on the temporary pause in services with U Stars as of 1 May 2019. The company appointed FALCON as performance marketing agency for Singapore to work on its digital growth strategy. FALCON will be responsible for scaling its marketing efforts to more consumers and drive greater revenue per consumer via social and digital media.

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