Peloton, the Troubled Fitness Company, Loses Another Top Executive – The New York Times
The company’s chief marketing officer announced her departure on the heels of a management shake-up that included the exit of two of its founders.
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Dara Treseder, who has been Peloton’s chief marketing officer since 2020, is leaving the ailing exercise equipment maker to run marketing at Autodesk, a move that comes two weeks after Peloton’s co-founder and former chief executive, John Foley, announced his exit amid a broader management shake-up.
A spokesman for the company wished Ms. Treseder luck, adding that she had helped to more than double its membership to more than 6.9 million, the DealBook newsletter reported.
The executive departures leave in question the future of the brand.
Ms. Treseder, who will remain as Peloton’s head of global marketing and communications through Oct. 4, helped oversee the introduction of four new products, including its $3,195 rowing machine. Ms. Treseder, who had previously worked at Apple, Goldman Sachs and General Electric, also set up a content partnership with Beyoncé.
Mr. Foley had been the public face of the brand since its founding in 2012; Ms. Treseder called him “the greatest of all time.” Peloton said earlier this month that Hisao Kushi, another founder and the company’s chief legal officer, will depart on Oct. 3.
Ms. Treseder’s exit comes amid a broader restructuring. The pandemic darling of home workouts has had to pump the brakes on its rapid expansion in the past year as demand fizzled once lockdown measures were eased.
In an effort to revive the business, Peloton hired Barry McCarthy, the former Spotify chief financial officer, as its chief executive in February; he has since focused on trimming costs and revamping the subscription model.
Peloton has laid off workers, announced plans to close stores, outsourced production and sell its bikes on Amazon. It’s been an uphill battle: Peloton reported a $1.2 billion loss in the fourth quarter, its sixth straight quarterly loss, and shares are down 75 percent through the year.
Marketing is key to its turnaround plans. The pandemic made Peloton’s workout bikes a household name, but sales plummeted as gyms reopened and demand for its products waned. And negative depictions of its products on TV series like “And Just Like That,” the “Sex and the City” revival, and “Billions” caused the company’s stock price to drop.
“Covid was the marketing campaign the company could never have afforded,” Mr. McCarthy told DealBook in February. Now, he wants to put Peloton’s fitness-focused app at the center of marketing efforts as the company looks to slash operating costs by $800 million this year.
“We need to lean in and figure out whether or not we can actually increase the unaided brand awareness in a cost-effective way,” he said at an investor conference this month. “That’s the marketing challenge. And so that’s what we’re trying to sell for now.”