SEOUL, July 22 (Korea Bizwire) – WeMakePrice, a Korean social commerce company that went through a major PR fiasco after firing and rehiring 11 merchandising assistants earlier this year, has chosen to offer stock options to all of its regular workers.
A stock option is a contract between an employer and its employees in which the stock option holder can purchase shares of the company at a predetermined price. It is usually employed as a strategy by venture startups to recruit talented workers.
An official at the company said, “The process to endow the stock options to workers has finished already. However, it is hard to open the detailed terms such as option period, price and the number of shares.” The official also refrained from disclosing the exact number of regular workers on its payroll.
Industry observers expect the option price to be 5,000 won per share, and the option period from three to five years. Workers will be able to profit from the stock options if the company’s share price surpasses 5,000 won over the option period.
An official at a financial institution said, “It is a rare case for a venture firm to distribute stock options to all of its employees. It can be seen as a move to raise the morale of its employees defamed by the recent controversy.”
Last December, WeMakePrice fired 11 merchandising assistants after their two week probation period, saying that none of them met its hiring criteria. The assistants worked with its sales teams 14 hours a day, and were paid 50,000 won per day.
Amidst the criticism and consumer protest activities such as closing accounts and threatening boycotts, the company apologized earlier this year and re-hired the 11 assistants as full time employees.
By John Choi (email@example.com)