Report: Gilt Layoff Rumors Confirmed, Two Top Execs Depart

1/24/12Follow @arleneweintraub

Even the hottest companies suffer growing pains, as evidenced by the recent layoffs at Gilt Groupe, the flash-sales site that raised a remarkable $138 million in a Series E financing earlier this year and later bought troubled daily-deals site BuyWithMe. After weeks of rumors, Gilt’s CEO Kevin Ryan told AllThingsD that Gilt has cut 10 percent of its workforce—about 90 people—with most of the departures coming from Gilt City, the company’s daily-deals site. The company will also close about a half-dozen offices, including those in Seattle, San Diego, and Dallas.

Ryan also said that Gilt City chief Nathan Richardson would be leaving, along with John Auerbach, who managed Gilt’s new full-priced men’s site, Park & Bond. The site marked a departure for Gilt, which had previously focused on selling discounted fashions, home goods, and travel to a mostly female audience. Back in April, Auerbach talked up the then unnamed men’s site as “a highly curated selection of the world’s best brands, built on authoritative and engaging content.” Ryan told AllThingsD that Park & Bond was being restructured.

No doubt Ryan’s focus on efficiency is part of Gilt’s preparation for its IPO, which is expected late this year or early next year. (The trimming isn’t just on the personnel side: On Friday, New York Magazine reported that Gilt stopped providing its employees with free goodies like Rice Krispie treats, Poptarts, and Pellegrino water.) Still, whether Gilt’s cuts will be enough to make it fashionable in the public market remains to be seen.

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