Tobias Lütke has transformed Shopify into an e-commerce giant with a $145 billion market value, thanks to the popularity of its tools, which power online shopping functions for a huge range of sellers, from the shoe company Allbirds to ketchup maker Heinz. Inside Shopify, though, his intense and demanding leadership style has earned co-founder and CEO Lütke a nickname: Tobi the Tornado.
According to six people who have worked at Shopify, each of whom confirmed the moniker, Lütke’s tempestuous behavior includes his tendency to swoop into team meetings unannounced and berate employees for proposals he doesn’t like. A consultant Shopify hired to lead a mental health workshop recently even used Lütke’s nickname during a discussion about workplace personalities, according to a person who was present in the session. At the same time, tensions with Lütke were a factor in the departures of some of the company’s top executives over the past year, said another person familiar with the matter.
The executive turnover has reshaped the top ranks at Shopify, which are reflected in the org chart shown above identifying nearly 70 of the company’s most senior leaders. Among its highlights, the chart shows how Shopify’s product teams are split between two men who both hold the title vice president of product. The first, Kaz Nejatian, joined the company in 2019 from Facebook and now leads a team of nine product directors at Shopify.