Wayfair CEO: Don't shy away from 'working long hours'

'There is not a lot of history of laziness being rewarded with success,' says Niraj Shah in email to employees

Wayfair CEO: Don't shy away from 'working long hours'

The chief executive officer of online retailer Wayfair has told his employees to not shy away from working long hours as he underscored the importance of hard work in becoming successful.

In an email obtained by Business Insider, Niraj Shah told his employees said that "winning requires hard work."

"Working long hours, being responsive, blending work and life, is not anything to shy away from. There is not a lot of history of laziness being rewarded with success. Hard work is an essential ingredient in any recipe for success. I embrace this, and the most successful people I know do as well," Shah said as quoted by the news outlet.

Statements on working late

In his remarks, the CEO also debunked some "Nirajisms," or statements that reportedly came from him.

Among these statements include: "Niraj said that he does not think that we should work late."

Shah said this was "laughably false."

"Hard work is essential for success, and a key part of getting things done," he said. "Everyone deserves to have a great personal life - everyone manages that in their own way - ambitious people find ways to blend and balance the two. I think that is what we all should do."

Another "Nirajism" that the CEO said he encountered was how the organization cannot recruit from Google Amazon or Walmart.

"I am not even sure where that could come from since so many of our senior leaders are from these places. Again false," he said.

Shah then added that he was happy to clarify any "Nirajism" that may sound odd.

"I am sure there are some that in fact I would support and say we should stick with," he said. "Ultimately I want us to be aggressive, pragmatic, frugal, agile, customer oriented, and smart. Use those as filters and I think things can become clearer."                                

‘Back to winning’ after layoffs in 2022

Shah made the remarks as he celebrated the company's return to being profitable. According to the CEO, the company's market share is growing, its repeat is increasing, and its suppliers are leaning in.

"As we work our way through the holiday season, it is really encouraging to see that we are back to winning," he said.

"That said, while we have worked hard to get back to the execution oriented, hardworking, frugal, customer-oriented culture that we had for most of our history we still have some work to do to make sure that we get fully back. And this is what I want us all to push on in the weeks and months to come."

Wayfair's most recent filing showed that it had around 15,000 employees as of December 2022. It previously had to cut nearly 900 employees in 2022 after it had grown "too large" for the environment at that time.

"We were seeing the tailwinds of the pandemic accelerate the adoption of ecommerce shopping, and I personally pushed hard to hire a strong team to support that growth," Shah said in a previous statement.

"This year, that growth has not materialized as we had anticipated. Our team is too large for the environment we are now in, and unfortunately we need to adjust."

Affected employees were offered severance, including payout of the 2022 Q1 corporate bonus for those eligible, according to the company.

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