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Logan’s IFIT lays off workers weeks before Christmas after saying the company is doing ‘better than ever’

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The cuts come after the fitness company delayed an initial stock offering that promised to raise millions of dollars for Latter-day Apostle Gary E. Stevenson.

(iFIT, via Business Wire) Logan-based iFIT Health & Fitness laid off an undisclosed number of workers weeks before Christmas. Pictured here is the company’s NordicTrack X32i Tilt Trainer with interactive online contact. The company reported strong financials as recently as October, when it canceled a planned initial public offering due to “adverse market conditions”.

Two months after postponing the first stock offering on Wall Street, IFIT Health & Fitness based in Utah launched a round of layoffs just weeks before Christmas.

Several employees told The Salt Lake Tribune they received no notice prior to the game on December 3, when the multibillion-dollar company laid off an undisclosed number of employees. in multiple departments – at headquarters in Logan and among people working online around the country.

Julie Tukuafu, a 31-year-old single mother, says she’s been on the fitness tech company’s creative and marketing team for eight years without a hitch. She was released via Zoom at her home in Arizona, where she works remotely.

Based on contacts since with other laid-off colleagues, Tukuafu said, she estimates that anywhere from 100 to 500 people in some departments have been laid off, all without explains why after recent reports from regulators, the company is “better than ever. ”

“That’s why people are upset, because it contradicts everything they’ve told us in the last year,” Tukuafu said, adding that some received severance packages of similar value. equivalent to 5 to 8 weeks of salary, depending on their tenure.

“While they may say they care about people first,” she added, “they absolutely don’t.”

Company spokesman Colleen Logan did not respond to several email and phone inquiries from The Salt Lake Tribune. However, in a written statement provided to Logan’s Herald Journal, she says, “slight workforce cuts happen to match business needs as we continue to grow as a fitness tech company.”

“We sympathize with those affected and appreciate their contributions to the company,” the newspaper quoted her as saying. She is said to have declined to disclose how many employees were affected.

A competitor to Peloton, iFIT is the maker of the popular NordicTrack and has seen its fortunes increase in recent years, in part due to the huge interest in home workouts in college. coronavirus outbreak. Merchandise sales of interactive fitness products — including exercise equipment, clothing, and shoes — total $2.8 billion by 2021.

The company had more than 6.4 million customers in 120 countries as of October, the company’s public filings show.

“They are one of the few industries that have completely thrived during COVID,” Tukuafu wrote in an email.

In disclosure to the US Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year ahead of the company’s aborted IPO, iFIT said it had “more than 2,500 employees [including] more than 600 research and development professionals, with engineering teams across three continents. ”

The company also told the SEC that its future success depends “on key personnel, the loss of which would hurt our business”.

“Competition for employees in our industry is fierce, and we may not be successful in attracting and retaining such employees,” iFIT told federal regulators. The company said it is contemplating hiring new employees, especially in the finance department, once the IPO is completed.

Tukuafu said she is being encouraged to apply for another job at iFIT even if she is suddenly laid off.

Public documents also reveal that several executives at iFIT received large sums of money as part of the IPO – including one current top leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and another who recently resigned from his church.

As a co-founder of one of the company’s original predecessors, Gary E. Stevenson, a member of the Utah-based Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has been nominated to be board director. admin and earned up to $911.9 million for nearly 43.4 million iFIT shares that he accumulated over the years.

Robert C. Gay, formerly a member of the church’s Seventy, was also nominated to the iFIT board. At nearly 18 million shares, according to SEC documents, the company’s proposed IPO share price of $21 would bring his holdings in iFIT to about $385.9 million in value.

A church spokesman said in October that Stevenson, 66, had a special exception – “resulting from his legacy stake and his role as a co-founder of the corporation” – from an age-old church whose top leaders in the faith, avoid serving on corporate boards.

Spokesman Doug Andersen said such exceptions are rare and are granted on a case-by-case basis. The 70-year-old Gay was appointed to the church’s Seventh Quorum in 2012. Church leaders said during the General Assembly on the Fall of Faith that Gay had been granted the same honor. as appointed from the role’s daily duties.

The IPO was delayed shortly before it launched due to what company officials called “adverse market conditions”. There is no word on when iFIT may restart stock sales.

https://www.sltrib.com/news/business/2021/12/16/logans-ifit-lays-off/ Logan’s IFIT lays off workers weeks before Christmas after saying the company is doing ‘better than ever’

Yasmin Harisha

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