Peloton cuts staff and CEO quits as smart bike company continues to try and turn around

Peloton Rebrand (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Peloton Rebrand (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Peloton’s chief executive will stand down, and the company will cut 15 per cent of its workforce, as it continues to attempt to turn around its fortunes.

The company – which began with virtual spin classes on at-home smart bikes, but now makes a range of products – saw huge growth during lockdowns as people looked for ways to recreate the gym without going outside.

But in the time since, it has struggled with recalls, delivery issues and slowing growth. The share price has since fallen 88 per cent since it went public in September 2019 – and 98 per cent since the heights of the pandemic.

Chief executive Barry McCarthy did not specifically explain his decision to step down. But he said that the last two years at the head of the company had been “intellectually challenging, emotionally draining, physically exhausting, and all consuming”.

He had joined the company in February 2022, replacing its co-founder John Foley. He attempted a range of different moves intended to turn the company around, including ending its free offering and changing the prices of bikes.

But it has failed to make a profit since 2020 and its latest results showed another fall in revenues, and losses of $167 million in the first quarter of the year, though that was down from $276 million in the same period the year before.

Mr McCarthy said that he had entered the business with the aim of stabilising its cash flow, “getting the right people in the right roles” and returning to growth. He said that he had achieved the first two goals and was “counting on” staff to achieve the third next year.

Peloton’s current chairperson, Karen Boone, and its director Chris Bruzzo will take over the company as interim co-CEOs, and Mr McCarthy will stay on until the end of the year. Peloton is now searching for a replacement, it said.