Honestbee has confirmed that there have been delays in paying salaries but did not clarify if this is for existing staff members or those that have left the company, after about 10% of its global headcount were laid off in May this year.
A honestbee spokesperson told Marketing that while the delays are true, these were communicated to staff. It added that the new management team, consisting newly appointed CEO Brian Koo, is also taking steps to remain transparent by communicating to staff on payment issues. The spokesperson however, has yet to disclose the number of staff affected in Singapore.
According to the statement, beyond the initial round of layoffs in May, there were additional cuts in Japan most recently. The spokesperson said:
We understand the significant impact this has on our staff and their families and remain committed to meeting our financial obligations to them in a timely manner.
Marketing has reached out to honestbee for additional information.
Most recently, VP of marketing, Christina Lim exited the company. At honestbee, Lim was tasked to lead the marketing team to ramp up its integrated efforts to drive brand awareness and loyalty across all its business verticals.
Meanwhile, in Malaysia honestbee also informed consumers through an email that it is temporarily suspending operations from 22 July. Halting its food and grocery delivery service, honestbee said the decision was made from its headquarters in Singapore to reform the business so it can better serve consumers in the future when the company returns.
The company first halted its services in Indonesia and Hong Kong, as well as its food vertical in Thailand back in May as part of a strategic review of the business. Its services in Japan and the Philippines were also temporarily suspended. That month itself, several media reports claimed there was a delay in payroll for its employees. A spokesperson said to Marketing at the time that this was untrue, and that it will ensure all employees across all markets, including Singapore, are paid in a timely manner.
Currently in Singapore, honestbee has suspended its food and laundry services. Its grocery concierge service with FairPrice was also suspended in February, as the honestbee team was in the midst of reviewing processes and service levels with partners. In addition, local news articles reported that honestbee also ended its partnership with U Stars supermarket in Singapore. According to these outlets, honestbee emailed its “shopper bees” on the temporary pause in services with U Stars as of 1 May 2019.