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


Editor’s be aware This story is on the market to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers solely. Thanks for supporting native journalism.

Logan-based iFIT Well being & Health has adopted deep workers 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 now we have constructed at iFIT over 4 a long time 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 also be timed with the disclosing of a $355 million infusion of personal funding into iFIT, led by Connecticut-based L Catterton, a outstanding fairness agency centered on client manufacturers.

That new money indicators the settlement, firm officers mentioned, of a $300 million lawsuit towards iFIT by one in every 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 fashionable manufacturers reminiscent of 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 rising 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 throughout the coronavirus pandemic as hundreds of thousands shifted to house 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 anticipated to play a significant position in main the corporate ahead.

“As we speak’s necessary updates,” Watterson mentioned, “strongly focus the enterprise for continued progress 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 “adversarial market situations.” That inventory sale was set to carry large windfalls to a number of firm executives — together with a high chief of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and one other high-ranking authority who had lately stepped down from his church place.

Apostle Gary E. Stevenson, as co-founder of one of many iFIT’s early predecessors, stood to achieve as a lot as $911.9 million for almost 43.4 million iFIT shares he accrued by means of the years. Robert C. Homosexual, now an emeritus common 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 buddy 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 tasks 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 by means of persistent provide issues involving many key elements, 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 consider the most effective of iFIT is but to come back.”

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 inner e-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 might be delivering probably the most worth for our greater than 7.3 million members.”