Friday, June 14, 2024

nCino lays off 7% of workforce, CFO exits

nCino announced a round of layoffs Wednesday, Jan. 18. (Port City Daily/Shea Carver)

WILMINGTON — The fintech banking company nCino, headquartered in Wilmington, laid off more than 100 employees Wednesday. The company also has offices in London, Melbourne, Salt Lake City, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto.

According to an email obtained by Port City Daily, nCino’s CEO Pierre Naudé announced the company will be reducing its staff by nearly 7%. A surprise to employees, the note indicated those affected would receive a followup email with further instructions. 

READ MORE: nCino inks $1.2B agreement to acquire digital mortgage platform SimpleNexus in early 2022

nCino employs more than 1,800 people, meaning upward of 120 people were laid off. It noted in its letter that counselors would be on site to speak with employees, including in Wilmington and virtually at the Salt Lake City location.

According to the announcement, laid-off employees will be offered a severance package: minimum 12 weeks pay, 2023 fiscal bonus eligibility, 12 weeks of career support, and continued health benefits. 

One person spoke to Port City Daily off the record Wednesday after his exit interview, though asked for anonymity due to receiving his severance package. He said a third of his department is now depleted from either people being laid off or quitting over the last three months. 

“We are less than two months away from our release cycle,” he said. “So that’s going to be absolutely insane for everyone who’s left across the entire company. Those workloads are about to increase substantially.”

According to the former employee, some exited when rumblings began of changing the company’s remote-work policy, which let employees choose how much time to spend in the office.

Multiple sources confirmed to PCD several office assessment surveys went out over the last two years asking if employees want to be in the office more or less than three days a week. Up until last fall they could come in or work remotely at their leisure.

In October, the former employee and sources confirmed the company informed employee remote work would cease and they were required to return in-person by the first of 2023. An email sent to the workforce by Naudé indicated “we’ve seen firsthand the immense value in-person experiences had on our culture and results.”

“A lot of us are very analytical,” the former employee said, “and so we were, like, ‘OK, cool, show me the data.’”

None was provided, he said, and instead the company reasoned it fostered a more collaborative work environment to be in the office among peers. 

Reporting from the Wilmington Business Journal in November noted of the 1,800 employed by nCino, roughly 650 work at Mayfaire and approximately 270 or so were working remotely in the area.

The former employee surmised most let go were remote; however, nCino did not confirm as much. No one from the company would speak with Port City Daily or answer questions upon request.

Spokesperson Kathryn Cook did provide a statement:

“Like many other companies facing the significant headwinds of 2023, nCino made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce by approximately 7%. Today was a sad day for everyone as we said goodbye to a number of talented colleagues who have worked hard and made a positive impact at nCino.”

Naudé’s announcement was made the same day as Microsoft Corp informed it was laying off 10,000 employees and after 2022 saw more than 150,000 jobs cut in the tech industry, Wall Street Journal reports. Salesforce, the software nCino’s bank operating system is built on, also announced a 10% decrease in its global workforce this month.

In in his company-wide letter Wednesday morning, Naudé said the layoffs came with “significant thought and analysis,” involving the executive leadership team and board of directors.

“If you know me, you know I care deeply about our team members, and I speak for the entire ELT when I say this is one of the hardest decisions we’ve made to date,” he wrote.

Some employees waited hours for their one-on-one exit interview after receiving the 9 a.m. email, according to the former nCino employee. 

“It was a weird, eerie death row feeling,” he said, “even among the people who weren’t leaving.”

He said the only indication the company was heading for layoffs was higher-level employees who were “nCino diehards” exiting over the last year. 

“All these people have been, I guess, seeing the writing on the wall — especially once the return to office [mandate was in place] — and they’ve all been jumping ship,” he said. 

He said a lot of those positions have not been replaced, but the few that have are more “toe-the-line types.”

When he went into the room for his exit interview, the employee said the team read off a sheet of paper to break the news. He wasn’t given a specific reason for his layoff, but was told decisions were not performance-based and he could reach out to HR to find out more.

A fluctuating market played into the layoff decision, Naudé wrote in Wednesday’s letter to employees. He noted “mortgage rates rising faster than at any time in memory, macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges in Europe, and a slowdown in the broader economy” all factored into the decision.

Announced in nCino’s third quarter earnings call, the company is shifting from a “pure growth” company to a “best-in-class profitable growth company” in the short term to adjust to market conditions. 

“Given the macro environment, we must grow with purpose,” Naudé wrote to employees, adding it means looking at investments and commitments already made.

At the beginning of 2022, the tech company merged with mortgage banking platform SimpleNexus, a leader in the digital home-buying market, in a $1.2 billion agreement.

The company reported in September its third quarter earnings for 2023 were up by 50% over 2022 — to $105.3 million from $70 million.

The employee shakeup also affected top-tier workers, according to a followup email Naudé sent out by 4 p.m. Wednesday. Obtained by Port City Daily, the email also revealed the exit of chief financial officer David Rudow, who joined the team in 2019.

“David has made significant contributions and helped lead nCino through several exciting chapters and scale as a public company,” Naudé wrote in the letter.

Taking his place will be Greg Orenstein, effective immediately. Orenstein joined in 2015 and has acted as chief legal officer and currently chief corporate development and strategy officer.

“He is known and respected internally across nCino, as well as externally with investors, analysts and stakeholders,” Naudé wrote.

Founded in 2012, nCino works with over 1,200 financial institutions worldwide, including TD Bank, Truist Financial, Wells Fago, and Santander Bank. The company opened a new 90,000-square-foot office in November to add to its multiple buildings on the Mayfaire campus.

According to New Hanover County’s 2022 Economic Mobility Report, released last March and based on 2021 third-quarter employment numbers, nCino ranks number 11 out of the top 25 employers in the county.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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