Shopify hires new VP of engineering, looks to add 2,021 new technical staff this year

Shopify has tapped Cathy Polinsky as the e-commerce company’s new vice president of engineering as it plans to double the size of its engineering team this year.

“Shopify’s mission to make commerce better for everyone is incredibly inspiring, and it’s what attracted me most to the role.”

Polinsky has previously served as chief technology officer of Stitch Fix, an online personal shopping service, where she took the company public. Before that, she had a seven-year tenure at Salesforce where she was most recently senior vice president.

Prior to Salesforce, Polinsky also held senior technical roles at Amazon, Oracle, and Yahoo, among other organizations.

As the newest senior leader on Shopify’s engineering team, Polinsky will lead Shopify’s efforts to build its e-commerce infrastructure and will lead the company’s efforts to double its engineering team in 2021 by hiring 2,021 new technical staff.

“Shopify’s mission to make commerce better for everyone is incredibly inspiring, and it’s what attracted me most to the role,” said Polinsky in a statement sent to BetaKit. “I’m thrilled to join Shopify to tackle the limitless opportunity of levelling the playing field for entrepreneurs and helping to make a better shopping experience for consumers.”

On its website, Shopify states it is looking to hire front end and backend developers, as well as data scientists, mobile developers, production engineers, and principal engineers.

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The new addition comes after a year of major executive changes for the Ottawa-founded company. In September, Shopify announced a leadership shuffle that saw former chief operating officer Harley Finkelstein moving into the president role.

That September shuffle also saw the departure of Craig Miller as chief product officer, and Toby Shannan, previously chief support officer, taking over Finkelstein’s COO position. Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke assumed Miller’s responsibilities following his departure.

The news also follows a strong year for Shopify given the pandemic-fuelled shift to digital e-commerce solutions. According to the company’s third-quarter financial results, the company beat analysts’ predictions by a wide margin as the Canadian e-commerce company more than doubled gross merchandise value (GMV) and saw its largest quarterly profit yet.

Shopify’s decision to hire thousands follows a year that involved major operational changes. In August, the company laid off internal operations staff, a decision it attributed to its shift to a permanent remote work model.

The following month, Shopify announced it would drop its Ottawa headquarters on 150 Elgin Street and move to an office tower on Laurier Avenue. That move followed the decision to expand its space at The Well in downtown Toronto, where Shopify is expected to open an additional office in the city next year.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.