Joe Wicks, the YouTube fitness coach who kept millions of people moving during lockdown, has laid off a clutch of engineering staff who had been building his company’s exercise app.
The entrepreneur cut about half a dozen app-developer staff from his health and fitness start-up, The Body Coach, earlier this month.
Individuals in charge of building out the company’s Apple iPhone and Android apps were let go, as well as people developing its paywall.
The lay-offs come as people return to gyms post-lockdown and as other pandemic fitness hits, such as Peloton bikes, struggle.
Mr Wicks, 37, first gained online fame after posting workout videos to YouTube and Instagram in 2014 on his channel The Body Coach TV.
He later published several books on food and nutrition in his “Lean in 15” series.
During the pandemic, Mr Wicks’ popularity skyrocketed, attracting a national profile. Mr Wicks began broadcasting morning activity classes, often in fancy dress and aimed at children and families stuck at home, called “PE with Joe”.
He set a world record for the largest ever fitness live stream when nearly 1 million people tuned into his workout and won praise from former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
During the pandemic, Mr Wicks raised around £500,000 for NHS charities. In November 2020, he raised a further £2m in a 24-hour fitness session for Children In Need. Last year, he was awarded an MBE.
Mr Wicks has since launched a smartphone app designed, which is paid for via subscriptions, and provides access to workouts and meal plans. It costs £69.99 per year.
However, according to LinkedIn posts seen by The Telegraph, The Body Coach made multiple redundancies in its engineering team in the New Year amid a restructuring. It currently employs around 40 people, according to LinkedIn.
While interest in digital fitness apps surged during the pandemic, demand for virtual workouts has waned as life has returned to normal.
Last year, shares in Peloton, the US digital fitness giant, plunged more than 75pc and wiped billions of pounds from its valuation.
Peloton went through four rounds of layoffs, cutting hundreds of staff as it grappled with weak demand for its fitness products, which include a £1,995 exercise bike and a £3,345 treadmill. It also charges consumers a subscription fee to its fitness products.
Health-tracking app Noom has also cut hundreds of weight-loss coaches in recent months.
The Body Coach did not respond to requests for comment.
Discussion about this post