Fitbit will lay off 110 employees amid challenges in wearable market | The Verge

Fitbit will lay off 110 employees amid challenges in wearable market by Lauren Goode (theverge.com)
Fitbit today released preliminary results for its upcoming fourth quarter earnings report, and the news isn’t good.

Fitbit today released preliminary results for its upcoming fourth quarter earnings report, and the news isn’t good.

The digital health and fitness company, which has led the wearables industry in market share for several consecutive quarters, warned investors that it experienced “softer-than-expected” demand for its products during the critical 2016 holiday quarter. It also said it would be laying off about 6 percent of its workforce, or around 110 employees.

Vjeran Pavic

The news of the layoffs was first reported yesterday by The Information.

Fitbit said in an official statement today that it expects fourth quarter revenue to be somewhere in the range of $572 million to $580 million, significantly less than the target of $725 million to $750 million that the company had set in its Q3 earnings report. At the time, even that guidance was considered weak, and it sent Fitbit’s stock plummeting 30 percent. Most of this is being credited to slow sales in what Fitbit already considers its mature markets, despite growth in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Holiday sales were weak for Fitbit, even on Black Friday

With regards to the layoffs, the company declined to specify areas of the company that will see a reduction in workforce (and whether this will impact, say, the brand-new Pebble employees it just acquired). It did say it planned to reduce operating expenses by $200 million this year, which included “realigning sales and marketing spend.”

One item worth noting is that Park officially said that Fitbit will enter the smartwatch market, something that has been obvious for months now. “We believe we are uniquely positioned to succeed in delivering what consumers are looking for in a smartwatch: stylish, well-designed devices that combine the right general purpose functionality with a focus on health and fitness,” he said.

Fitbit officially reports its fourth quarter earnings on February 22nd.

Source: Fitbit will lay off 110 employees amid challenges in wearable market – The Verge

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Author: Lauren Goode

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