Two top executives to exit Fitbit in restructuring
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Fitbit’s chief business officer Woody Scal, who has led the fitness tracker’s sales team for almost seven years, is leaving the company as part of the restructuring that followed its recent plunge in sales.
Revenues in Fitbit’s fourth quarter fell by 19 per cent, the San Francisco-based company reported last month, as unsold devices piled up in retail stores. James Park, Fitbit’s chief executive, has warned that results will continue to be weak for the first half of this year as it works through the inventory.
Mr Scal, who joined Fitbit from private equity group and consultancy Avanti Growth Partners in 2010, will leave the company by the end of March, according to Monday’s announcement. Also exiting later this month is Tim Roberts, the executive vice president of interactive who led its software team since 2010. Both departures are said to have been a mutual decision.
Fitbit has scaled back its workforce by 6 per cent in recent weeks, but Mr Scal and Mr Roberts are the highest-ranking executives to leave in the restructuring. Its new organisational structure focuses on two divisions, focused on sales to consumers and enterprise customers.
Last month, Fitbit brought in a new head of operations, Jeff Devine, formerly of Cisco, Nokia and HP. He will report to Mr Park.
“2017 is a transition year and while we continue to lead the connected health and fitness market, we must take important steps to chart our return to profitability and growth. It is essential that we are organized properly so that we can successfully execute our strategy,” Mr Park said in a statement. “Woody and Tim were two of Fitbit’s first employees and I’d like to thank them for their many contributions over the years, and for helping make Fitbit the category leader it is today.”
Last week, researchers at IDC found that the wearable-tech market grew 16.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year. While Fitbit still leads the market, IDC found its share fell from 29 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 19 per cent at the end of last year, just ahead of Xiaomi at 15 per cent and Apple at 13 per cent, both of which have seen their market share increase.
News of the executive departures followed the unveiling of a new version of its Alta wristband earlier on Monday. The $150 Alta HR, which is released in early April, now includes continuous heart-rate tracking as well as improved sleep-monitoring functions.