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The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Instacart plans to "pay out its first companywide cash bonuses starting in December … as the grocery delivery provider aims to motivate staff after delaying its initial public offering."

The Journal notes that "the cash bonus is a shift in the company’s efforts to reward and retain employees. Instacart has historically given out equity rewards to boost retention."

Retention may be on the company's mind, as The Information reports that "Instacart’s vice president of ad sales, Ryan Mayward, has left the company to join Walmart … He’s the third senior advertising executive to leave Instacart in just over a year, calling into question whether CEO Fidji Simo will be able to achieve her advertising ambitions for the delivery app.

"The departure comes less than two weeks after the grocery delivery firm told employees that it would postpone going public, which it had been expected to do by the end of the year."

Mayward's role at Walmart is SVP of Sales.  Before going to Instacart as VP of Ad Sales less than two years ago, he was a sales director at Amazon for nine years.

KC's View:

I'm going to be honest here - I have very little interest in the Instacart IPO.  I know it is important, and will be a barometer of the company's ability to succeed long term.

But I'm much more interested in Instacart's repositioning of itself as a technology company in service to building the brands of its client retailers.  Longtime MNB readers know that I've always had a certain skepticism about the decisions retailers were making, giving up valuable assets - like their customer data - in exchange for an e-commerce solution.

My sense is that Instacart is trying to address this issue.  (Not because I kept talking about it.  There is new leadership at the company that seems to have different priorities from the old leadership.)

I have no idea of the Mayward departure for Walmart will have any significant impact on Instacart, but I do think it is doing the right thing in finding ways to reward employees.  That's smart - it isn't the employees' fault that the IPO has been delayed, and finding a way to compensate them for the delay strikes me as demonstrating a level of EQ.