Weight loss app Noom lays off 495 trainers in strategic pivot

Saeju Jeong, co-founder and CEO of NoomSam Barnes/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

  • Weight-loss app Noom fired 180 trainers on Thursday, one trainer told Insider.

  • Noom told staff he would fire 315 more coaches in the next 10 days.

  • It’s part “of an evolution of the coaching model,” Noom management told staff in an email.

Weight-loss app Noom fired 180 trainers on Thursday, according to documents reviewed by Insider.

A platform coach said Noom plans to lay off 315 additional employees in the next 10 days, offering voluntary departure options. The 495 layoffs began on Thursday, with 180 employees laid off in a series of small group video calls, a coach at the platform told Insider.

The total layoffs would constitute around 25% of his coaching staff of 2,000, the coach said.

The coach, who was not part of the cuts and asked to remain anonymous, told Insider the move was part of a strategic pivot to scheduled video coaching, rather than immediately assigning users a coach based on of text. Noom told employees that the “new coaching model” will come with “a lot of ambiguity at first,” and that coaches can expect a higher workload, according to documents reviewed by Insider.

In a letter to staff, seen by Insider, Noom described the 495 layoffs as part of “an evolution of the coaching model”.

Noom, an app-based weight loss program currently valued at $3.7 billion, has risen to dominate the market by promising a unique approach to diet – helping users ‘redefine’ their relationship to food using psychology-based techniques. Noom advertises a coaching model “based on” cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques, with staff on call to provide around-the-clock guidance via text.

However, this promise has been heavily criticized, with users complaining about canned advice from burnout trainers, expensive subscriptions and strict calorie goals. Coaches told Insider that they sometimes juggle hundreds of clients at once.

Discussing today’s layoffs, the coach told Insider Noom is offering a voluntary severance option of eight weeks pay for up to 350 additional employees. Vacation days will not be paid in the voluntary and involuntary departure packages, the coach said.

“This decision was not taken lightly, but was made with the future vision of the coaching staff and the long-term health of our business in mind,” the management said. Noom to staff in an email seen by Insider. “We are in a time of change and it is important that we evolve our coaching model to be more sustainable in the interest of the Noom mission, the long-term health of our business and the team. coaching.”

In a statement to Insider, a spokesperson said, “Noom is continually working to meet the ever-changing needs of our users while ensuring the health of our organization as it continues to grow. Parting of our coaching staff is a decision we did not take lightly and we appreciate their contributions. 1:1 Coaching continues to be an essential part of the Noom experience for many of our users and we continue to invest in and improve this capacity.

This is a developing story. Visit businessinsider.com for updates.

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