Peloton founder faces staff anger over swanky holiday party

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Peloton’s CEO is facing backlash for hosting a swanky, invite-only holiday party for some of his instructors — after nixing a company-wide bash amid concerns about the company’s tanking stock price. 

John Foley, who also instituted a company-wide hiring freeze just last month, held an opulent holiday party at New York’s luxury Plaza Hotel on Dec. 8, according to social media posts. 

Just Peloton instructors — not other employees — were invited to the event, even though a company moratorium on parties and new hires was instituted over concerns about the company’s future, according to a Peloton insider. 

“All of the instructors and their plus-ones were invited to attend but companywide there was a moratorium on hiring and any holiday parties,” the insider grumbled to The Post. “Company morale is at an all time low.” 

Peloton instructors at party.
Just Peloton instructors were invited to the event, even though a company moratorium on parties and new hires was instituted.
Instagram/@jsimsfit

Peloton shares have tanked 73 percent since the beginning of 2021 as investors worry that vaccines and loosening COVID-19 restrictions will sink the home fitness giant. 

In an attempt to address the concerns of ticked-off staffers ahead of a companywide meeting on Wednesday, Foley sent an email to staffers Tuesday afternoon claiming that the party was not affiliated with Peloton. 

“This holiday season, my wife and I hosted a personal party for our vaccinated family and friends to celebrate all NYC has been through over the past two years,” Foley wrote in a companywide email shared with The Post. “Although some Peloton teammates were invited, the event was not officially affiliated with Peloton in any capacity.” 

John Foley.
John Foley held the event at New York’s luxury Plaza Hotel on Dec. 8.
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

“I have since learned that this personal event has caused frustration and angst within our team. Please know, that was never the intention,” he continued. “Tomorrow, we are going to focus our monthly All Hands, as we have always done, on business-related topics, not personal events.” 

Signing off the email, Foley wrote, “Much love.” 

Images of the black-tie affair shared on social media show Peloton instructors dancing under a disco ball while enjoying wine and champagne and a live band. 

“Getting to spend time, dancing, laughing, singing and celebrating together after so many months of separation was truly good for the soul!” wrote Peloton instructor Kendall Toole on Instagram. “One thing I love about this team: we go FULL OUT — no matter what.” 

John Foley email.
John Foley referred tot he holiday party as “a personal party.”
Instructors at the party.
“Shout out to @iamfunnyjill and @keylargojohn for knowing how to throw a damn party,” Peloton instructor Jess Sims posted.
Instagram/@jsimsfit

“Shout out to @iamfunnyjill and @keylargojohn for knowing how to throw a damn party and to @theplazahotel for being so damn beautiful,” wrote another instructor, Jess Sims, tagging Foley and his wife.

Peloton did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but after The Post published this story, the company accused the newspaper of spreading “misinformation.”

“Among the guests, who were mainly close friends and family members of the Foleys, were some Peloton team members, not ‘just Peloton instructors,’” the company said in an email.

Party.
Peloton instructors posted pictures dancing under a disco ball.
Instagram/@fitxkendall
Party.
“One thing I love about this team: we go FULL OUT — no matter what,” Peloton instructor Kendall Toole posted.
Instagram/@fitxkendall

“While there was no official ‘moratorium’ on holiday parties at Peloton, as we — and many other companies — did last year, we made the decision not to hold a companywide party this season, due to a number of factors, including space constraints to hosting thousands of team members in one location, as well as COVID restrictions and budget considerations.”

The company added that the event was “hosted and paid for by the Foley family.”

Foley, who previously was an executive at Barnes & Noble, recently listed his home in East Hampton for $4.5 million.

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