The price of Pinterest stock has kept declining in the past few days and ended up closing last month with an 8% loss despite the changes made in the company’s leadership team as part of an effort to push an e-commerce initiative that could help the business in entering a new phase of growth.
On June 28, Ben Silbermann, the company’s co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer, announced that he will be stepping down to let Bill Ready replace him effective immediately.
Ready is an e-commerce veteran who previously served in key executive roles closely related to the e-commerce and digital payments industry at both Alphabet (GOOG) and PayPal (PYPL).
“In our next chapter, we are focused on helping Pinners buy, try and act on all the great ideas they see. Bill is a great leader for this transition. He is a builder who deeply understands commerce and payments. And he shares our passion for creating a positive corner of the Internet. I’m confident he’s going to be an outstanding CEO”, Silbermann stated in regards to this strategic shift.
Meanwhile, the new CEO of Pinterest commented: “I am excited to build on that foundation to further scale the Company’s ecosystem and drive increased value for shareholders. Having built multiple businesses from zero and operated at the scale of billions of users, I have a deep appreciation for what it takes to scale a business like this to the next level”.
Days before the leadership change was announced, Pinterest announced that it completed the acquisition of THE YES – an AI-powered shopping platform that will reportedly help the company in the development of its e-commerce initiative.
Macroeconomic Headwinds Are Weighing on Pinterest Stock Performance
Silbermann’s tenure at Pinterest lasted 12 years and, during that period, the tech billionaire managed to grow the platform to over 400 million monthly active users. In addition, under Silbermann’s watch, the company took advantage of the pandemic to increase advertising revenue and attract a large number of users who came to the platform looking for different kinds of ideas while confined within their homes.
However, since the pandemic came to an end, Pinterest has been reporting negative user growth. In addition, the global economy could be entering a recessionary period on the back of contractionary policies adopted by major central banks across the globe.
This has contributed to depressing the valuation of the social media company by nearly $44 billion since it peaked in February 2021. Pinterest stock currently trades at $18.4 per share and is accumulating a 49.4% year-to-date loss compared to nearly 30% the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index has lost during that same period.
During the first quarter of 2022, Pinterest reported a 9% decline in its monthly active users globally with the US, Canada, and Europe spearheading this drop as users have progressively gone back to their normal routines.
However, revenues have kept growing despite this slowdown as the company managed to increase its average revenues per user by 31% on a year-on-year basis in the US and Canada– the two regions that bring the most money to Pinterest.
In regards to the appointment of Ready, analyst Ali Mogharabi from Morningstar stated: “We think Ready is likely to make more aggressive and timely investments in enhancing Pinterest’s commerce capabilities, thereby attracting not only more consumers to shop and purchase on the platform but also more advertisers with a focus on direct-response campaigns”.
Despite these positive comments from analysts, the consensus opinion is that the company will keep struggling to perform positively in the near term due to the macro and business-specific headwinds that most social media companies are experiencing at the moment.
This view is reflected by the 9% drop the stock experienced on the day that Ready’s appointment was announced.
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