New Peloton CEO Says He's Not Focused on Raising Prices, Sees ‘Very Bright Future' Ahead

Brendan McDermid | Reuters
  • The new CEO of Peloton told CNBC's Jim Cramer on Wednesday he's "not focusing on raising prices" as the company seeks to expand its customer base.
  • "I'm focused on doing exactly the opposite and exploring how much price elasticity there is for the business," Barry McCarthy said in a "Mad Money" interview.

The new CEO of Peloton told CNBC's Jim Cramer on Wednesday he's examining the price of the company's connected fitness products, as part of an overall effort to grow its customer base and revenues.

The comments from Peloton's Barry McCarthy came in an interview on "Mad Money," his first TV interview since taking over as CEO and president earlier this month at a critical juncture for the beleaguered company.

"I think there's enormous opportunity for us to flex the business model and dramatically increase the [total addressable market] for new members by lowering the cost of entry and playing around with the relationship between the monthly recurring revenue and the upfront revenue," McCarthy said.

Peloton also can improve the user experience of its Bike and Tread products to increase "consumer delight ... in ways that we haven't yet imagined," McCarthy said, suggesting that's another way to grow the company's universe of potential customers.

"So, no. I'm not focusing on raising prices. I'm focused on doing exactly the opposite and exploring how much price elasticity there is for the business," said McCarthy, whose past stops at subscription-service innovators Spotify and Netflix are seen as valuable to his role at Peloton.

In addition to the upfront cost of buying a Bike or Tread product, Peloton also makes money through monthly subscriptions that give users access to its on-demand fitness classes. Investors generally place a higher value on recurring revenue streams like subscriptions than they do revenues generated by selling physical products.

Peloton saw tremendous growth during the Covid pandemic, but has seen demand for its exercise machines wane as people spend less time at home and return to gyms, which has led to temporary production halts. Along with installing McCarthy as CEO, the company also laid off roughly 20% of its corporate workforce in an effort to control costs.

Peloton had a market capitalization of nearly $50 billion in January 2021, but it's been dramatically reduced to $8.95 billion, based on Wednesday's closing stock price of $27 per share.

While there have been press reports suggesting Peloton is a potential takeover target, McCarthy told Cramer he sees a promising path forward for the company. That's what motivated him to, essentially, come out of retirement for the job, he said.

"Product market fit is incredibly hard to find, and there are few companies on the planet that have it. Peloton is one of them, even though it's had a few missteps lately," McCarthy said. "But once you have it it's almost impossible to destroy, and I thought the combination of all of those assets with some operating rigor would lead to a very bright future for this business."

At the same time, McCarthy acknowledged there's work to be done to restore the trust of Wall Street. Under previous leadership, Peloton had to cut its full-year revenue outlook, and it also raised money through a stock sale, just weeks after it said it didn't need to raise more capital.

"Until we can prove that we're capable of forecasting the performance of the business and meeting those forecasts to expectations, then there will continue to be some uncertainty in the business," McCarthy admitted. "Having said that, from where I sit today — given what I know and there's still quite a bit I have to learn about the business — it looks to me like we're pretty well capitalized for the challenge ahead."

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