Laid-Off Peloton Employees Crash New CEO's First All-Hands Meeting: 'I'm Selling All My Peloton Apparel to Pay My Bills!!!'
In a move many are calling wildly out of touch, the company offered its laid-off workers a monthly Peloton membership for one year.
Peloton held a virtual all-hands meeting on Wednesday to introduce its new CEO Barry McCarthy to staff. But the conversation between McCarthy and former CEO John Foley came to a quick end, CNBC reports, after former and current employees blasted the chat with angry comments about this week's job cuts and accusations of mismanagement.
"I'm selling all my Peloton apparel to pay my bills!!!" one person wrote. Another callled the discussion "awfully tone deaf." Someone else chimed in to explain the source of the vitriol: "The company messed up by allowing people who were fired into this chat. Too late to mod [moderate] this."
As the conversation between McCarthy and Foley came to a close, the new CEO was asked if laid-off employees had somehow infiltrated the chat. "No comment," he said.
Peloton's next chapter comes after a year that's been particularly rocky. Though the pandemic initially led to an impressive growth streak, the company struggled in the face of shipping delays and product-safety issues, among them the recall of its Tread+ treadmill after the death of a child and 70 other incidents. Additionally, the company was the butt of many jokes after its bike made unfortunate guest appearances on both the Sex and the City reboot and television show Billions.
The tense call signals an uphill battle for McCarthy, who was brought in to make the company profitable once again. Employee morale is at an all-time low after Peloton embarked on a massive cost-cutting campaign that included the elimination of approximately 20% of its corporate workforce, or 2,800 jobs. Peloton's fitness instructors will not be impacted by the cuts.
The company has offered the impacted employees cash severance, career services and, in a move many are calling wildly out of touch, a monthly Peloton membership for 12 months.
On Tuesday, McCarthy informed Peloton employees via email that he is "here for the comeback story" and plans to work closely with Foley to ensure a successful transition period. Though McCarthy acknowledged the cuts were "a bitter pill," he maintained that "revenue had to grow faster or spending had to shrink."
The laid-off Peloton employees have since rallied to help each other find new positions on LinkedIn. By Wednesday afternoon, they'd put together a publicly accessible spreadsheet with more than 250 names and email addresses of people looking for employment.
Peloton's stock shot up more than 30% in premarket trading on Monday after reports that Amazon and Nike were looking into buying the company.
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