Sheffield tech firm WANdisco is to cut its workforce by 30% following the revelation that a senior sales employee falsified purchase orders.

The listed company is being investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority. An internal probe concluded last week that recognised revenue of almost $15 million for FY22 was false, and that sales bookings of around $115.5m recorded in FY22 were also false.

Co-founder Dave Richards and his finance chief Erik Miller stepped down after identifying “significant, sophisticated and potentially fraudulent irregularities” while share trading in the data activation platform was immediately suspended.

“The company has conducted a detailed review of the business which has indicated the need for difficult but necessary changes to the company’s size in order to position the company for long-term growth and success,” WANdisco stated.

“These proposed actions are across all areas of the company’s operational and geographic footprint.”

WANdisco, which helps businesses to harness the power within their unstructured data using analytics tools powered by artificial intelligence, is headquartered in both Sheffield and California.

It added that it is working towards the lifting of the share trading suspension.

‘I maxed out credit cards to keep my company afloat’

“The proposal to reduce the company’s overall headcount was considered at great length,” said executive chairman Kenneth Lever.

“Regrettably, the proposed action is a necessary step to responsibly position WANdisco for long-term growth. 

“We are working through the process as sensitively and supportively as we can, providing those directly impacted with as much information and support as possible and at all times in full compliance with local law.”

The FCA investigation into the firm, which had announced plans to explore an additional listing in New York before the news of potential fraud broke, is ongoing.

‘Focus on the outcome when you launch your startup’