Skip the Dishes appoints new CEO

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Skipthedishes has a new CEO and only one of its original co-founders left, but the Winnipeg company that is owned by Just Eat plc is poised to take on an increasingly large role in the U.K.-owned company's global operations.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/01/2019 (1402 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Skipthedishes has a new CEO and only one of its original co-founders left, but the Winnipeg company that is owned by Just Eat plc is poised to take on an increasingly large role in the U.K.-owned company’s global operations.

Kevin Edwards is the CEO, replacing Chris Simair, brother of the original CEO Josh Simair.

Edwards joined the company in 2018 as chief marketing officer after holding the same position with the Movember Foundation.

SUPPLIED Kevin Edwards - newly appointed CEO of Skipthedishes.

He took over the role only weeks before the parent company CEO, Peter Plumb, stepped down after less than two years on the job. The British press say he was forced out because of investor dissatisfaction over the company’s investment in developing its own courier service. They said investors complained that the capital investment Plumb initiated had slowed earnings growth.

That technology investment is being driven largely by the work that is happening at the company’s Winnipeg operations. Last year the Skipthedishes delivery model that uses independent contract couriers in much the same way as the ride sharing business does, was integrated into Just Eat’s Australian operations. A similar process is now underway in Just Eat’s U.K. business.

Just Eat is facing increased competition in all its markets from players like Uber Eats and believes the Skipthedishes delivery model will ultimately prove most profitable.

Just Eat operates in 13 countries (that includes a joint venture in Brazil and Mexico) and uses three different models across the operations, including delivery services employed directly by independent restaurants, third party courier companies and self-employed independent contractors. The last one is the model developed by Skipthedishes.

In total, Just Eat has 3,300 total employees, about 2,000 of whom are in Winnipeg.

Just Eat paid about $200 million for Skipthedishes in late 2016. Chris Simair said in a statement Monday, “As one of Skip’s founders, I’m incredibly proud of what we were all able to build and accomplish in just six short years. Skip is full of incredibly passionate and talented people, I have no doubt they will continue to excel and remain leaders in the global food delivery industry.”

Its burgeoning Winnipeg workforce now operates out of four locations in the East Exchange with the bulk of those hires taking place during that past two years.

In a release by the corporate board last week announcing that its CEO, Peter Plumb, was stepping down, the company said, “We anticipate 2019 will see our Canadian business, Skipthedishes, report its first full year profit, confirming the route to profitability for delivery services.”

Skip’s revenue in 2017 was about $112 million and the operation lost close to $20 million. Through the first half of 2018 revenue had already outstripped the entire 2017 total, however losses were also higher, which is not surprising considering the very rapid growth in its workforce.

For the first half of 2018, total revenue for Just Eat was about $622 million. The Canadian operation continues to grow by triple digits.

Edwards was travelling out of the country and unavailable for an interview. The company released a statement noting the departure of Simair, who, the statement said, was “instrumental in building Skip from a start-up to becoming the clear and respected market leader of food delivery in Canada. We would like to acknowledge his incredible contributions and wish him the best in his future endeavours.”

The release officially noted that the Canadian business is an “essential member of the Just Eat family” and that it “will continue to power the group’s ambitious delivery expansions globally.”

Regarding the appointment of Edwards, the company statement said, “This transition marks a new era in Skip’s journey as we build a leadership team with truly global ambitions and aspirations to lead the world in this exciting category.”

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

Martin Cash

Martin Cash
Reporter

Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.

History

Updated on Monday, January 28, 2019 10:06 PM CST: Corrects name

Updated on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 10:48 AM CST: Fixes size of Just Eat workforce

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