Laid-off Peloton employees reportedly crash new CEO's introductory meeting

Peloton laid off 20 percent of its workforce.


Peloton laid off around 20 percent of its corporate employees as part of its attempt to get past its growth struggles following a meteoric rise to fame in the early days of the pandemic. Some of them are understandably upset and angry, and according to CNBC, some of them have crashed the company's first all-hands meeting meant to introduce the new CEO.

In addition to letting a chunk of its workforce go — no instructors were affected by the layoffs — Peloton also replaced its top executive. John Foley, who's also a company co-founder, stepped down and was replaced with former Spotify COO Barry McCarthy. CNBC says both former and current employees fired off angry comments in the meeting's chat section, with one calling the all-hands "awfully tone deaf."

Another person proclaimed that they're selling all their Peloton apparel to be able to pay their bills. "The company messed up by allowing people who were fired into this chat," said yet another person. The meeting, attended by both Foley and McCarthy, was reportedly cut short.

Peloton was massively popular just over a year ago and even reached a market value of $50 billion in January 2021. Now, it's worth around $8 billion dollars, and bigger companies like Amazon and Nike are reportedly showing interest in acquiring the fitness equipment maker. While Peloton didn't say outright that it was planning to let people go, Foley previously said that the company "need[s] to evaluate [its] organization structure and size of [its] team" to make the business more flexible. That was part of his response to an older CNBC report claiming that the company was halting Bike and Tread production. Foley denied the rumor.

The former CEO also didn't say whether the calls for him to be ousted were part of the reason he's stepping down. Activist investor Blackwells Capital previously accused him of misleading investors about certain information, among other things that cost the company $40 billion. "I have always thought there has to be a better CEO for Peloton than me," Foley said when McCarthy was formally named as the company's new CEO. McCarthy is expected to use his knowledge of content-driven subscription models to keep Peloton running, but he clearly has to win over his own employees first.

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