Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown:
“The demands of activist investors calling for a radical shake up of Peloton appear to have been met, with the Chief Executive set to step off what has become an increasingly difficult treadmill. John Foley is stepping down as CEO and taking his place in what’s arguably one of the toughest spots in the fitness industry right now is Barry McCarthy, former chief financial officer of Spotify. Peloton’s sharp deterioration in sales, following the uphill march of purchases in the early days of the pandemic saw plenty of investors jump off the ride. Fresh woes hit as Peloton’s PR machine also appeared to have broken down with a character in the hit spin off from Sex In the City dying from a heart attack after a spin on a peloton bike, while Blackwells Capital hit the firm with a raft of criticism over poor governance.
There will be hopes Peloton will turn a corner with a new CEO in the hot-seat, and plans for a dramatic slimming down in size with reports that 2,800 jobs are to go. Clearly Peloton has had a tough time as pandemic darlings have been left behind by re-opening plays over taking in terms of popularity among investors, and this move is set to cause further upset at a volatile moment in the share price.
However, Peloton has one foot already firmly in the much trumpeted metaverse, with its die-hard fans still deeply hooked to virtual sessions. That’s why the company is considered to be so attractive to big hitters like Nike and Amazon. If it can shape up and get back on a recovery trajectory in terms of sales, there may well be more potential suitors eager to jump into the alternative reality of fitness.”