Longtime CEO steps down from iFIT amid layoffs and leadership shake-up

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Logan-based iFIT Well being & Health has adopted deep employees cuts introduced Friday with a shake-up of its management, together with the departure of longtime CEO Scott Watterson.

Watterson, an iFIT co-founder who has labored 45 years with the train tools maker, will stay in his position as chairman of the board of administrators, the agency mentioned Monday, however is stepping away from day-to-day administration.

The corporate’s chief monetary officer, Steve Barr, and Mark Watterson, chief expertise officer, will function co-presidents. The information comes after iFIT laid off an undisclosed variety of staff final week at its Cache County headquarters and operations worldwide in what one supply mentioned was a cost-cutting transfer important to “safeguard the enterprise long run.”

“I’m pleased with what we have now constructed at iFIT over 4 many years and our means to efficiently adapt in a quickly evolving well being and health panorama,” Scott Watterson mentioned Monday in an announcement.

The announcement can be timed with the revealing of a $355 million infusion of personal funding into iFIT, led by Connecticut-based L Catterton, a distinguished fairness agency centered on shopper manufacturers.

That new money alerts the settlement, firm officers mentioned, of a $300 million lawsuit towards iFIT by certainly one of its shareholders, hedge fund Pamplona Capital Administration.

The agency, which is going through escalating prices, mentioned in its assertion it had “amicably resolved” the excellent litigation.

The corporate affords widespread manufacturers similar to NordicTrack and ProForm, powered by an interconnected well being and health platform with experiential content material and interactive {hardware}. It mentioned Monday it has over 7.3 million subscribers throughout greater than 120 nations and was seeing growing member participation in exercises and occasions.

Archrival Peloton and different makers of train tools, together with personalised interactive content material, noticed a dramatic spike in demand for his or her merchandise through the coronavirus pandemic as tens of millions shifted to dwelling exercises.

The 66-year-old Watterson, who reportedly will work on improvement of next-generation merchandise for the corporate, mentioned Monday he can be investing in iFIT alongside Catterton, which is predicted to play a significant position in main the corporate ahead.

“Immediately’s essential updates,” Watterson mentioned, “strongly focus the enterprise for continued development in what has made us profitable within the first place: know-how, innovation and the member expertise.”

Monday’s strikes are the newest fallout from iFIT’s indefinite delay of an preliminary public providing in October that the corporate abruptly withdrew, citing “opposed market situations.” That inventory sale was set to carry big windfalls to a number of firm executives — together with a prime chief of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and one other high-ranking authority who had not too long ago stepped down from his church place.

Apostle Gary E. Stevenson, as co-founder of one of many iFIT’s early predecessors, stood to realize as a lot as $911.9 million for almost 43.4 million iFIT shares he gathered via the years. Robert C. Homosexual, now an emeritus normal authority Seventy within the church, was to see his almost 18 million shares in iFIT lifted to roughly $385.9 million in worth.

Shares owned by former CEO Watterson, who launched the agency with longtime good friend Stevenson in 1977, stood to be price a complete of $4.6 billion post-IPO. The enterprise journal Forbes estimated Watterson’s wealth in February at $2.1 billion.

In his assertion, Watterson mentioned he was “excited to transition my govt obligations to Mark and Steve,” whom he mentioned have been “well-suited to proceed iFIT’s lengthy historical past of success.”

Sources near the corporate mentioned final week iFIT wanted the newest capital infusion because it labored via persistent provide issues involving many key parts, together with metal, resins and microchips important to its line of immersive exercise machines.

In a joint assertion Monday, co-presidents Barr and Mark Watterson mentioned, with the newest restructuring, iFIT “is on sturdy monetary footing and stands able to seize the large alternative forward of us.”

They mentioned their future focus for iFIT was centered on “steamlining” the enterprise in addition to “investing in and enhancing the member expertise and persevering with to innovate throughout interactive software program, content material and {hardware}.”

Marc Magliacano, a managing associate with L Catterton, mentioned the corporate would play “a significant position” in advancing iFIT’s future and that with the brand new capital raised, “we imagine the very best of iFIT is but to return.”

L Catterton led a $200 million funding in iFIT in October 2020, becoming a member of Pamplona Capital Administration after it lent the agency $200 million in 2019.

In an inside electronic mail to be despatched Monday to all international staff, Barr and Watterson mentioned L Catterton’s half within the firm can be “shut and impactful.”

The main target, they mentioned, can be “product innovation, experiential content material, and areas of the enterprise which can be delivering essentially the most worth for our greater than 7.3 million members.”