SAN FRANCISCO — E-cigarette giant Juul said Tuesday that it will cut 650 jobs, and slash its spending next year by $1 billion as the company is trying restructure itself amid a flurry of controversies surrounding its vaping products.
Juul said it will cut an additional 150 jobs on top of the 500 jobs it has already said it would eliminate by the end of the year. Altogether, the cuts amount to about 16% of Juul’s total workforce. The company also said it would phase out its chief marketing officer position.
Juul said in a statement that the moves are being made to “right-size” the company, which had been adding 300 new jobs a month this year, and currently has 4,051 employees.
“This reorganization will help Juul Labs focus on reducing underage use, investing in scientific research, and creating new technologies while earning a license to operate in the U.S. and around the world,” said chief executive K.C. Crossthwaite, in a statement given to this news organization.
The job cuts are the latest in a string of changes at Juul, which has come under fire for its role in the rise of vaping by teenagers, and how it has promoted and marketed its e-cigarette products. Last week, Juul said it would stop selling its mint-flavored vaping pods following a medical industry report that highlighted the popularity of the mint flavor among teens. The move could potentially be a huge loss for Juul as mint is the company’s most-popular vaping flavor.
Juul has also been going through an upheaval in its executive ranks. In September, former Altria Group executive Crossthwaite replaced Kevin Burns as Juul’s chief executive, and in late October, Juul named company official Guy Cartwright as its new chief financial officer, and said three other senior executives would step down from their jobs.
Eric Schiffer, chief executive of Los Angeles-based private-equity firm the Patriarch Organization, said the moves Juul is making might give its investors some sense of relief, but don’t solve its overarching issues.
“Despite the new CEO’s moves, the company faces excruciating brand challenges as a modern day Lucifer infecting the future generation of America,” Schiffer said.