Pepperjam laying off 20 percent of its staff, many from Wilkes-Barre

By Patrick Kernan - [email protected]
Pepperjam’s Wilkes-Barre headquarters are seen in a file photo. The tech company is laying off 20 percent of its staff, a representative said Tuesday. - Times Leader file

WILKES-BARRE — Tech company Pepperjam is laying off staff across the company, including at its headquarters here.

Pepperjam plans on reducing employment by 20 percent across all of its offices, but a specific number of layoffs at its Wilkes-Barre headquarters was not available, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday. She declined to be identified.

The representative said that layoffs were still ongoing early Tuesday afternoon, and not everyone who would be laid off had been made aware.

She declined to say how many people work for Pepperjam, but a Times Leader story from April 2017 indicated the company employed over 300 individuals, with more than 100 of them working in Wilkes-Barre.

The worldwide company’s headquarters are at the Innovation Center at 7 S. Main St. Pepperjam also has offices in Conshohocken, Tempe, Ariz., and Santa Cruz, Calif., as well as internationally in Toronto and London.

The Pepperjam representative said the layoffs are “strictly a business decision,” and that Pepperjam isn’t going anywhere soon.

“We’re still committed to the Wilkes-Barre location,” the representative said. “That office has the largest number of employees, so it’s logical that, when there’s an action, Wilkes-Barre would feel it. But we’re still committed to Wilkes-Barre.”

Over the next few weeks, Pepperjam will be undergoing a reorganization in the wake of the layoffs, with the representative saying it would be ready to show that plan “to the world” soon.

Pepperjam was founded in 1999 by brothers Kris and Rick Jones as an online gourmet food purveyor. Over time, the company shifted to focus on crafting supportive programs for business.

In 2009, Pepperjam was purchased by GSI Commerce. Two years later, it was purchased by eBay and renamed eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions.

Then, in 2015, Pepperjam was bought by private equity firms. However, it retained the eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions name until 2016, after the company acquired the Digital Net Agency.

In April 2016, eBay Enterprise rebranded itself once again as Pepperjam.

The current CEO is Matt Gilbert, who was appointed Jan. 16.

“In Pepperjam, I see a talented and dedicated team, supportive investors, compelling technology and growing market where the largest incumbents have fallen behind,” Gilbert said in a press release at the time of his appointment. “Those ingredients, when leveraged properly, are the foundation for achieving great outcomes.”

Gilbert most recently worked at Kinetic, a social marketing services company. He co-founded 500friends, and previously worked at several other web companies.

He’s based at the company’s Conshohocken office.

Pepperjam’s Wilkes-Barre headquarters are seen in a file photo. The tech company is laying off 20 percent of its staff, a representative said Tuesday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_web1_pepperjam2_faa-1-4.jpgPepperjam’s Wilkes-Barre headquarters are seen in a file photo. The tech company is laying off 20 percent of its staff, a representative said Tuesday. Times Leader file

By Patrick Kernan

[email protected]

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan