Wix: Fallout from firing Irish employee lasted 48 hours

Wix president Nir Zohar credit: Alan Tzatzkin
Wix president Nir Zohar credit: Alan Tzatzkin

The Israeli company hopes to present a GAAP profit for 2023, which would place it two years ahead of schedule.

Israeli website building company Wix.com Ltd. (Nasdaq: WIX) has reported positive financial results for the third quarter of 2023. The company beat the analysts' expectations with revenue of $394 million, GAAP net profit of $7 million, andnon-GAAP net profit of $65.1 million - earnings per share of $1.10. Revenue was 13.9% higher than the corresponding quarter of 2022 and the company swung to profit from a GAAP loss.

The company hopes to present a GAAP profit for 2023, which would place it two years ahead of schedule. Looking ahead, Wix's revenue forecast of $400-405 million for the fourth quarter of 2023 is higher than the analysts forecast and would see the company end 2023 with 12%-13% revenue growth, up from the previous forecast of 11%-12% revenue growth.

In a Zoom video with journalists Wix president Zir Zohar and CFO lior Shemesh spoke about Wix's current situation during the war.

"We have received incredible support from our employees around the world," said Zohar, stressing that the war has had no negative effect on Wix's customer service. "We are a global company, with about 3,000 employees in Israel and about 2,000 abroad. We have product and development people in Lithuania and Ukraine, whose willingness to back up the Israelis, whose productivity has decreased, was phenomenal. The Ukrainians are in a place of shared destiny, and of being grateful for the Israelis' support for them in the war there, and are going above and beyond to help. There are Ukrainian employees who want to come to work in Israel and support their colleagues. They say they are not afraid of missiles."

Zohar added that services have not been damaged and will not be damaged, but there may be a certain, not dramatic, delay in future launches. However, he noted in this context that even in the last few weeks, the company made two significant launches, one of them in the field of AI.

"In such a traumatic period, the conduct of employees is a ray of light"

Unlike some other Israeli companies, Wix has not stated how many employees have been called up for army reserve duty. Zohar said, "It is a number that is changing all the time and it is not the focus because there are employees with a partner or children in the reserves or service. There are many hundreds of people within the circle of influence and it is changing, because the assistance needed by an employee whose son is serving in Gaza is in the realm of emotional support, and there are employees who need physical assistance with the children because the partner is in the reserves. We do not pretend to provide one solution for everyone but try to help everyone."

Zohar says the willingness of employees to help and volunteer, "is astonishing in a time with so much difficulty and personal and national trauma, the conduct of the employees is one of the bright spots." Zohar pointed out that there are no Wix employees who have been physically harmed ("emotionally, there were workers in difficult situations in this context", he adds), but there are employees with people in their immediate circle who have been murdered or kidnapped and the company tries to support them as much as possible."

Wix recently made headlines after it fired an employee in Ireland who published a post supporting Hamas, and other employees at the company felt hurt by this. According to Zohar, "It was an unrepresentative event, which had some fallout in Ireland but it died down within 48-72 hours

Wix, managed by CEO Avishai Abrahami, allows its customers (mainly small and medium businesses) to build and manage websites. The company is traded on Nasdaq with a market cap of $5.1 billion, after a 17% rise in the share price since the start of 2023.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 9, 2023.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.

Wix president Nir Zohar credit: Alan Tzatzkin
Wix president Nir Zohar credit: Alan Tzatzkin
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