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Meet Peloton's new CEO, Barry McCarthy

Key Points
  • Former Spotify CFO Barry McCarthy is replacing Peloton co-founder John Foley as chief executive officer of the fitness company.
  • McCarthy, 68, previously served as chief financial officer for both Spotify and Netflix.
  • He's credited with pushing Spotify to pursue a direct listing to go public rather than the traditional initial public offering.

In this article

Barry McCarthy, chief financial officer at Spotify, attend annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 11, 2018 in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Peloton is looking to experienced tech executive Barry McCarthy to lead the company back into investors' good graces and stabilize its business after a few roller coaster years.

McCarthy, who previously served as CFO of Spotify, is replacing Peloton co-founder John Foley as chief executive of the fitness company, while Foley becomes executive chairman. The company also cut its revenue forecast, announced plans to slash 2,800 jobs and overhauled its board in a flurry of news Tuesday morning.

"Barry is a proven leader, well known for his financial acumen and record of driving transformative change at iconic companies including Netflix and Spotify," Karen Boone, lead independent director of Peloton's board and former RH CFO, said in a statement.

The changes are effective this week, Foley said on a post-earnings conference call, adding that he plans to work closely with McCarthy on Peloton's turnaround. McCarthy and his wife are also big Peloton riders and have long been fans of the brand, according to Foley.

In a separate SEC filing detailing McCarthy's employment offer, Peloton agreed to pay him an annual base salary of $1 million. He is also getting a maximum of $150,000 for relocation expenses to move his family to New York. McCarthy has the option to purchase 8 million shares of Peloton's Class A common stock, according to the letter.

McCarthy, 68, began working at Spotify in 2015, a year after he joined the company's board. He's credited with pushing the company to pursue a direct listing to go public, helping the company avoid the traditional fees and hoops of an initial public offering. McCarthy left the music streaming company in early 2020 but rejoined its board. He also currently serves on the board of Instacart.

Prior to joining Spotify, McCarthy was Netflix's CFO for more than a decade under co-founder Reed Hastings. He took the company public while it was still known for shipping DVDs to customers' mailboxes. By the time he left the company in late 2010, Netflix had begun streaming television shows and movies on its website and was about to split subscription plans for renting DVDs and streaming.

"He's not only recognized as an expert in running subscription business models and helping category-leading digital streaming companies flourish, but he has also had tremendous success in partnering with founder CEOs at other brands. I'm excited to learn from him and work alongside him as Executive Chair," Foley said in a statement.

Between his stints at Netflix and Spotify, McCarthy briefly served as chief operating officer for Clinkle, a mobile payments company. He has also sat on the boards of Eventbrite, Pandora, Rent the Runway, Chegg and NatureBox. His first CFO role was at Music Choice, a music programming company, from 1993 to 1999.

Peloton shares closed Monday up more than 25%, at $37.27, bringing the company's market cap to $12.2 billion.

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that Barry McCarthy was Netflix's CFO for more than a decade.

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Peloton CEO John Foley steps down, company plans to slash 2,800 jobs