Two of the stories discussed during the 11 a.m. newscast merit elaboration. First, Peloton.
The company said today that its chief executive, John Foley, is stepping down from the big chair and will become executive chairman. He’ll be replaced as CEO by Barry McCarthy, former chief financial officer of Spotify and Netflix. Peloton will give the heave-ho to about 2,800 employees.
While Wall Street typically views change in the executive suite as a positive — a turning of the corporate page, as it were — Peloton’s moves underline the precarious state of the company, which has seen its stock hammered in recent months and is now reportedly an acquisition target (Amazon, Nike and Apple are cited as the most likely buyers).
It seems reasonable to conclude that Peloton is cleaning house to make a sale more attractive and to drive up the company’s share price. If so, McCarthy is being positioned as a safe, forward-looking leader once the dust settles.
Who gets left holding the bag? That would be the nearly 3,000 Peloton workers now or soon to be out of a job — through no fault of their own. Business as usual, you could say.
Meanwhile, Amazon is rolling out its telehealth service, Amazon Care, nationwide after testing it in a few markets. This is a very big deal for the $4-trillion U.S. healthcare system.
Amazon Care is a platform for online consultations between patients and medical practitioners. It also facilitates in-house visits by nurses for tests, vaccinations or other front-line needs.
Make no mistake, this is the future of U.S. healthcare, making treatment more accessible (and hopefully more affordable) than ever before. Amazon, which already operates an online drugstore, is now the player to watch in the telehealth space.
The company says it hopes to cut deals with employers to make Amazon Care a part of people’s benefits. If telehealth supplements traditional health coverage, that would be a good thing.
If, on the other hand, some tight-fisted employers see telehealth as a cheaper alternative to comprehensive coverage, that would be a big step in the wrong direction.
You can be sure lawmakers will be watching closely.