Shopify's executive shuffle continues as VP of talent Speer leaves company

Janeen Speer
Janeen Speer joined Shopify as its VP of talent in 2018. Photo courtesy Benevity

The exodus of top executives from Shopify’s leadership team continues as its vice-president of talent leaves to join a rapidly growing Calgary software company.

Janeen Speer left Shopify last month to take on the newly created role of chief people officer at Benevity, the Alberta-based firm announced. 

Speer – who was based in Ottawa during her tenure at Shopify but had lived in Calgary for more than a decade before moving to the capital – called her new position a “natural fit.” 

Benevity, which makes software that helps companies track their charitable donations, says it’s looking to add up to 300 new employees to its existing 650-person team this year.

In her three years at Shopify, Speer helped oversee the doubling of the e-commerce giant’s workforce from 5,000 to 10,000 employees and supervised a group of more than 380 people. Before joining Shopify in 2018, the Queen’s University graduate held senior HR and strategy roles at WestJet, Lululemon and Starbucks.

In a statement to OBJ on Thursday, Shopify called Speer a “valued member” of its executive team. 

“We’re grateful for her contributions during her tenure and wish her only the very best in the future,” the company said, adding it had no immediate word on Speer’s replacement.

C-suite departures 

Speer is the latest in a string of high-profile executives to move on from Shopify over the past year.

Three longtime members of the firm’s C-suite – chief talent officer Brittany Forsyth, chief legal officer Joe Frasca and chief technology officer Jean-Michel Lemieux – left the company a few months ago

In addition, former chief product officer Craig Miller left last October. CEO and co-founder Tobi Lütke added that role to his existing duties and Harley Finkelstein shifted from chief operating officer to president to help Lütke focus on Shopify’s growth.

The departures come as the Ottawa firm ​– which surpassed RBC last year to become Canada’s most valuable publicly traded company ​– continues to stake its claim as a global e-commerce software leader. 

Shopify’s quarterly revenues cracked the US$1-billion mark for the first time in the three-month period ending June 30, while the company turned a profit of nearly $880-million, its fifth straight profitable quarter.