NEW YORK, NY – Weight Watchers has fired an unknown amount of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic and they delivered the news to thousands of employees during a recent zoom meeting call. The company set up a zoom meeting call with all of the employees it was about to fire. The employees were fired, but they were also given a free Weight Watchers membership for their troubles.
“Our senior leadership has reviewed WW organizational structure in light of COVID-19s impact on our business. As a company, we need to ensure that we have the right structure in place to drive future success and meet our financial commitments,” the company told employees gathered for the online meeting. “Through this review, a number of roles have been impacted. Unfortunately, your role is one of them. Therefore, your last day of working with WW is today, May 14th.
Your last day as a WW employee will be Friday, May 29th, though you will not be working after today.
“I will be available over the next few weeks if you would like to speak with me. I know this is a lot to take in. As part of this transition, we’ll be doing the following,” the speaker said. “Paying you through 5/29/2020. Providing you with a permanent WW membership, at no cost to you.”
“We ask that you keep this conversation confidential. It shouldn’t be shared with any colleagues, WW contacts (such as Heath solutions partners), or our members. All WW employees, members, and partners need to learn about the company’s strategic business decision, and how they affect them, through our senior leadership team,” the company told the most recent financial victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Weight Watchers announced they had a record first quarter in 2020.
“WW ended the first quarter with 5.0 million subscribers, reflecting a new Q1 quarter-end record and a 9% increase versus the prior year period,” said Nick Hotchkin, the Company’s CFO, Operating Officer, North America and President, Emerging Markets. “Beginning in mid-March, the crisis started to negatively impact our recruitments and resulted in Studio closures. While we have seen some recovery, given the uncertainty around 2020 revenue levels, we are withdrawing our full year 2020 financial guidance. We have strong liquidity and a highly cash generative business model. To further bolster our financial flexibility, we are implementing a $100 million cost-savings initiative. We continue to be excited about our long-term growth opportunities with our digital platform.”
Oprah Winfrey is the celebrity spokesperson for Weight Watchers. According to CNN, “Oprah has made a killing on Weight Watchers stock. Oprah Winfrey first bought Weight Watchers stock in October 2015 for $43.5 million. Her investment is now worth more than $400 million.”
Winfrey has not yet commented on the mass layoffs.
Photo: Oprah Winfrey, WW, Facebook promotional photo