(Bloomberg) — Shopify Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tobi Lutke called a short seller that targeted his company a “troll,” in his first public response since being targeted by Andrew Left’s Citron Research last week.
Left, who said he had taken a short position in the stock, published a report on Oct. 4 questioning the sustainability of the Canadian e-commerce company’s growth rate and calling its marketing tactics illegal. Though Wall Street analysts overwhelmingly stood by Shopify and rejected Left’s claims, the company’s shares fell 12 percent, its biggest one-day decline since listing in May 2015.
“Lots of people want me to address the short-selling troll that’s targeting,” Shopify, Lutke tweeted Tuesday. “Looking forward to next earnings calls to do so.”
Shopify helps small merchants set up online stores. Citron’s report alleges the vast majority of them are recruited by promoters promising the website is an easy way to make money without doing much work, and that eventually the company’s growth will crumble when these merchants fail.
Left immediately responded to Lutke calling him a troll when contacted by Bloomberg, saying it “shows his immaturity as a CEO.”
“The irony of an outfit like Citron accusing any business of being a get-rich-quick scheme should not be lost on anyone,” Lutke added.