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Peloton layoffs felt ‘sudden’ and ‘scripted,’ ex-employee says

A laid-off Peloton employee spilled details about the embattled fitness brand’s recent round of corporate job cuts, revealing the experience of getting axed felt “scripted” and “really sudden.” The ex-employee, whose name was not revealed, worked as a field operations specialist for Peloton, tasked with delivering and setting up the brand’s bikes. They were one of 2,800 employees to be laid off – amounting to roughly 20% of Peloton’s corporate workforce. “Earlier this week, I woke up to an email about CEO John Foley stepping down, and there were rumors of layoffs,” the former employee told Business Insider. “It was about 11 a.m. when the first person I knew got the call from human resources that they were part of the layoffs. Even as it was happening, I didn’t think it would affect so many of us.” “When I got the call, I could tell my manager was reading off a script. They told me about the layoffs and that my position was being eliminated,” the employee added. Foley, who is transitioning to the role of executive chairman, broke the news in a company-wide email ahead of the layoffs. Peloton is scrambling to turn around its business due to a significant drop in demand for its bikes and treadmills. The ex-CEO noted the laid-off employees would receive “meaningful cash severance,” extended health care coverage and access to career planning services. As the Post previously reported, laid-off workers were also given a free 12-month subscription to Peloton’s workout classes. The former employee told Business Insider the offer of a Peloton subscription was “nice, but it’s only worth about two days of work.” “I have a bike, but I wasn’t even told about the membership on the phone call. I found out through reading articles about the layoffs,” the ex-employee said. The job cuts were part of an extensive cost-cutting effort that Peloton expects to result in $800 million in annual savings. The company also canceled its planned $400 million factory in Ohio. New CEO Barry McCarthy said the cuts were unavoidable, arguing the “status quo was unsustainable” if Peloton wanted to achieve a profitable business model. Rumors that Peloton would conduct layoffs intensified in January after CNBC reported the company had tapped consulting firm McKinsey to review its operations. The former employee said they were “disappointed in how this whole situation went down.” “Peloton always stressed to its team members that it prides itself on being transparent with its employees, but the first time I heard about the layoffs was through leaks on Blind and news articles revealing that McKinsey had been brought in to restructure the company,” they said. Peloton did not immediately return a request for comment.

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