Turkish technology firm boss distributes $27 million to employees after sale
Ayşe Arman - ISTANBUL
HÜRRİYET photoThe sale of a company is usually bad news for its employees, but that wasn’t the case for Yemeksepeti.com, the leading Turkish firm in online food ordering, as more than 100 of its employees were given bonuses totaling $27 million following the company’s sale last May for $589 million, the firm’s CEO, Nevzat Aydın, has said.
“We have shared $27 million of the money we earned with our 114 employees,” Aydın told daily Hürriyet.
Delivery Hero, the German-based online food ordering giant, acquired Yemeksepeti for $589 million on May 5.
Yemeksepeti CEO Aydın remained in his post, as he also became part of the management team of Delivery Hero.
Aydın said they had set a “bad example” for other bosses by sharing the money with their employees.
“They will hate us, but this is the case,” he said. “Although we did not have any liabilities or promises, we shared $27 million of the money we got from the sale of the company with the employees, out of our own share and by also paying the taxes.”
Aydın said such an act was a first in Turkey.
“We did this because if there is a success, we have accomplished it altogether,” the CEO added.
There were emotional reactions to the decision, which meant more than $200,000 per employee, Aydın said.
“Some employees cried, some screamed, some wrote letters of thanks,” he said. “There were emotions, because you affect the lives of the people. People can buy homes, cars. They can immediately do something otherwise they could not with monthly wages of 3,000-5,000 Turkish Liras. It was a good thing; I wish we could have given them more.”
Aydın said the deal, which was the biggest acquisition of a Turkish technology firm, was the result of “patience.”
“If we had waited another year, the number would have been higher,” he said. “The $589 million paid is big, but what matters is to be able to reject offers of $300 million, $500 million, to wait for the right price. You must know to say ‘no,’ you should not be afraid. The offer came up from $3 million to $589 million in 15 years.”
Ayrdıon said Yemeksepeti.com was an example of how the right idea roots among the Turkish people, even though it is a new one.
“Many people said ‘are you crazy?’ when we started the company in 2000 with an investment of $80,000,” he said. “But when you offer the Turkish people the right product in the right way, they adapt to changes. Now we get over 100,000 orders a day and make over 3 million transactions a month.”