Flash delivery companies Gorillas and Getir fired dozens of employees in the Netherlands last month during a reorganization. This is evident from a collective dismissal application that both companies have submitted to the UWV benefits agency and has been viewed by NRC.
At the beginning of December, the German Gorillas was bought for 1.1 billion euros by the Turkish Getir, its biggest competitor, after a months-long takeover battle. The acquisition made Getir the winner of a two-year competition between fast food delivery companies.
The flash delivery companies are criticized for causing nuisance in inner cities, including in the Netherlands, and are very loss-making. Getir made a loss of 553 million euros on a turnover of 428 million euros last year, according to the annual report. With the German Flink and the Getir-Gorillas combination, there are now two major flash delivery companies in the Netherlands.
Merging Getir and Gorillas should lead to cost savings. Part of the savings is the merger of the head offices in the Netherlands. This operation must be completed by March 1 and will cost 25 Getir employees and 43 Gorillas employees their jobs. They will leave their employment on March 31 and will each receive two gross monthly salaries as severance pay.
In total, both companies in the Netherlands employ just under a thousand employees. These are mainly delivery drivers, who are not affected by the round of layoffs. It is still unclear whether Getir will scrap the Gorillas brand, which has spent hundreds of millions in investment money since its foundation in May 2020 to make a name for itself. Getir is also active in ten of the eleven cities where Gorillas delivers groceries in the Netherlands.
Read more about the Gorillas acquisition: ‘The end of one of Europe’s fastest growing companies’
The takeover by Getir is causing some unrest among Gorillas staff, say those involved NRC. Getir has a more hierarchical corporate culture, with the top in Istanbul making all major decisions. That takes some getting used to for the employees of Gorillas, where managers of local departments were used to bearing a lot of responsibility themselves.
Was one of the changes a new line on working from home, which was introduced by Getir’s top management at the beginning of January. All office staff of Getir and Gorillas now have to work in the office five days a week, with a few exceptions. The decision did not go down well with some of the Gorillas employees, who were used to being allowed to decide for themselves where they could work.
However, according to management, the “vague and noncommittal” hybrid working “often led to empty offices,” it wrote in an email to staff. “With speed as our main strength, we all know that teams work faster and we solve problems faster when we are together.”
Gorillas executives have meanwhile been sidelined within Getir. The Dutch top of the new combination – recently announced internally by Getir’s European boss Berker Yagci – consists entirely of managers who previously worked at Getir. Several Gorillas executives indicate on LinkedIn that they are looking for a new job.
In his post, Yagci acknowledged that “the new leadership team is not a good representation of the amount of talent at Gorillas.” That choice had “several reasons”, according to Yagcı, who did not elaborate on what those reasons could be.
A spokesperson for Getir says he does not want to respond substantively to questions regarding the takeover.
A version of this article also appeared in the newspaper of February 7, 2023