Image Credit: Jenny Nilsson
It all started with snowboards.
In 2004, Tobi Lütke wanted to launch his own online snowboard shop, but he found the e-commerce software available at the time to be “clunky and expensive,” according to an interview with NPR. He ended up building his own software and his own business, which he called Snowdevil.
It quickly became obvious that his software was more valuable than snowboards, and Lutke teamed up with Daniel Weinand and Scott Lake to start Shopify. The founding team launched the platform in 2006, and Lutke has been serving as CEO since 2008 in its Ottawa headquarters.
Today Shopify is the largest online shopping platform for small and medium sized businesses in the U.S. and the most valuable company in Canada. Its market capitalization is over $200 billion, with 1.7 million merchants using Shopify in over 175 different countries, and the platform facilitating more than $400 billion in sales.
It’s not limiting itself to online retail either. Its first brick-and-mortar entrepreneur space opened in Los Angeles in 2018 and in August 2021 the company launched another in New York.
The company also saw a boost in sales during COVID-19 in 2020, as many companies either began taking their e-commerce seriously for the first time or had to enhance their online shopping operations since brick-and-mortar shopping wasn’t possible. Consumers spent $861 billion online with U.S. retailers in 2020, up 44% from $598 billion in 2019. Shopify reaped these benefits and earned over $100 billion in quarterly revenue for Q4 2020—a first in the company’s history.
Much of Shopify’s success can also be attributed to Lutke’s dedication and business leadership. His particular attention to product design and the team he has built up around it helped Shopify solidify a name for itself among e-commerce merchants looking for a user-friendly platform to launch its businesses on.
But this immense growth didn’t come without its own set of challenges. Things got a bit rockier for Shopify in April 2021, when three of its seven C-suite leaders, including one who had been with the company for 11 years, left at once, a mass exodus of veteran talent that sent its stock plummeting from an all-time high. It’s since had to do some re-shuffling of its teams at the very top. The Org identified the current members of Shopify's slimmer C-suite in our org chart round up below.
Harley Finkelstein - President
Finkelstein has been with Shopify since 2010 and most recently worked as the company’s COO. He now oversees teams such as revenue, growth, and products like Shopify Plus in his new role. As President, he also has shifted into becoming the public face of the company and seems to fill out most of Shopify’s media requests, speaking at international events and leading talks on Clubhouse.
In addition to his role at Shopify, he also holds entrepreneurial status as a mentor on Discovery Channel's “I Quit,” a television series about entrepreneurs who decide to quit 9-to-5 jobs to pursue their side hustles.
Toby Shannan - COO
Toby Shannan also joined in 2010, originally on Shopify’s Customer Support team. He worked his way to Chief Support Office before stepping in for Finkelstein as COO in October 2020.
He oversees Shopify’s global operations as well as its customer support and service strategy, but also absorbed Talent Ops and Employee Experience and Diversity & Inclusion after former Chief People Officer Brittany Forsyth left in April and VP of Talent Janeen Spear followed in September.
Previously, Shannan was involved in the consumer genetics industry. He was the co-founder and CEO of Social Fabric, a personal genomics company, and before that was VP of Sales and Marketing at DNA Genotek.
Amy Shapero - CFO
Amy Shapero joined Shopify as its Chief Financial Officer in 2018. She’s had the role before, most recently at online-wealth management service Betterment. She began her career as a Certified Public Accountant at Ernst & Young, followed by investment banking positions at Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs.
Allan Leinwand - CTO
Shopify at its core is a software company, one that was built by engineers. Allan Leinwand, Shopify’s current Chief Technology Officer, is an experienced engineer himself. He was Slack’s SVP of Engineering until October 2021, when he joined Shopify to replace Jean-Michel Lemieux.
On top of his three-year tenure at Slack, Leinwand is a repeat CTO at companies like Zynga and ServiceNow. He has also founded a software-based virtual router company, Vyatta, which was eventually acquired by AT&T.