Peloton CEO stepping down, cutting 2,800 jobs

Business

FILE – Peloton CEO John Foley celebrates at the Nasdaq MarketSite before the opening bell and his company’s IPO, Sept. 26, 2019 in New York. Activist investor Blackwells Capital is asking Peloton to remove CEO John Foley and consider selling the company just a few days after a media report said the exercise and treadmill company was temporarily halting production of its connected fitness products amid waning consumer demand. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)

(AP) — The co-founder of Peloton is stepping down as chief executive after an extended streak of tumult at the exercise bike and treadmill company.

Barry McCarthy, who served as CFO at Spotify as well as at Netflix, will take over the CEO position held by John Foley, effective Wednesday. McCarthy will also have a seat on the board.

Foley will become executive chair at Peloton Interactive Inc.

Peloton had been the subject in media reports this week of a potential takeover target by either Amazon or Nike. The developments Tuesday deflated hopes for such a deep-pocketed buyer, and shares of Peloton slumped 7% before the opening bell.

The company’s shares have been on a roller-coaster ride since the pandemic began. They surged more than 400% in 2020 as COVID-19 forced lockdowns and shifted the workout trend from the gym to the home.

In 2021, the shares gave back nearly all of those gains as businesses reopened and people started heading back to gyms. The stock fell further this year amid reports the company would cut back production of bikes and treadmills to try to offset a decline in sales.

There was also a demand late last month from activist investor Blackwells Capital that Peloton remove Foley as CEO and that it consider selling the company amid waning consumer demand.

Peloton also announced 2,800 job cuts globally, including approximately 20% of corporate jobs at the New York City company. The instructors who lead interactive classes for Peloton will not be included in cuts, nor will the content that the company relies on to lure users.

Peloton is looking to reduce its planned capital expenditures for this year by about $150 million. The restructuring program is expected to result in approximately $130 million in cash charges related to severance and other exit and restructuring activities and $80 million in non-cash charges. The majority of the charges will be recorded in fiscal 2022.

The company anticipates at least $800 million in annual cost savings once its actions are fully implemented.

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