Peloton, America’s favorite at-home workout bike, is spinning out of style.
The company saw a huge spike in growth amid the first few years of the COVID-19 pandemic largely because gyms were closed and people wanted to work out with similar energy to an in-person class, which Peloton provided. In September 2020, delivery wait times for Peloton bikes and treadmills were absurd. But now, as gyms reopen and in-person workout classes start back up again, it is struggling to maintain that level of demand.
On Tuesday, Peloton announced that CEO John Foley is resigning from his position and transitioning to a role as executive chair. The company laid off 2,800 employees globally, and is canceling its plans to build a U.S. factory. But, hey, at least it’s giving those 2,800 employees a super-weird severance package that includes a free 1-year subscription.
“For many of us, the last two years have been a whirlwind of a learning experience,” Foley wrote in a statement. “We navigated COVID-19 together, did our best to meet unprecedented demand, increased the size of our team, and grew our product portfolio. But with this growth, we have also faced our fair share of challenges / pivots / the unexpected.”
This comes amid a few PR nightmares for the company.
In August 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security subpoenaed the company over how it handled the recall for the Tread+ treadmill. According to CNBC, the company planned to stop producing its Bike product from February through March, its Bike+ through June, its Tread for six weeks, and Tread+ through the end of the year.
And let’s not forget the And Just Like That mess, in which Mr. Big (Chris Noth) died of a heart attack on the popular HBO show after he finished a Peloton session. The company responded by quickly making an ad featuring Noth, and then had to remove the ad even quicker when Noth faced accusations of sexual assault by two women.
And just like that, the company has experienced a net loss of $439 million.