Singapore’s Sea to freeze salaries, slash bonuses; Lion City Sailors CEO to step down

Singapore's Sea to freeze salaries, slash bonuses; Lion City Sailors CEO to step down
A photo of Sea’s office lobby. (File photo: Sea)

SINGAPORE: Local e-commerce giant Sea will freeze salaries for most employees and pay out lower bonuses this year as part of measures to prepare for a “worsening global economic environment” in 2023, according to Bloomberg on Thursday (Dec 22).

Sea is the parent company of gaming unit Garena and e-commerce platform Shopee.

Bloomberg reported that Sea founder Forrest Li announced in an internal memo that the company “needs to focus on profitability after a difficult 2022”, adding that the economy next year “may prove to be even more challenging” amid the ongoing war in Ukraine and rising inflation rates.

As such, the company will halt salary increases for employees who have not been promoted, said Li, who added that the majority of the changes have been made.

According to Bloomberg, Li said: “I know such news can be hard to bear, especially around the holiday season … These are temporary but necessary measures to help us build toward a bigger, brighter future.”

After the announcement was made, Sea’s shares dropped more than 4 per cent.

Over the past few months, Sea has laid off more than 7,000 employees – or about 10 per cent of its workforce.

Staff cuts were also made at Garena in September 2022, including shutting down some major projects to boost Sea’s profitability.

In the same month, more Shopee employees were also laid off, with some of them having their job offers rescinded days before they began work.

On Friday, SEA also announced that Mr Chew Chun-Liang, the CEO of its Singapore Premier League football club Lion City Sailors, will step down at the end of the month after about two years at the helm.

Li told the club website: “Chun-Liang has served the Sailors with distinction and a sincere spirit, with the club hitting several milestones under his stewardship – and I must thank him for his service and for the genuine warmth he brought to the Sailors.

“We have developed a great working relationship over the past two years, and I’m certain that I speak for all Sailors when I say that I’m sad to see him go. We respect Chun-Liang’s decision to leave the club, and we wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavours.”

Source: Agencies/rc(sn)