Juul to Lay Off 30% of Staff Amid Regulatory Uncertainty
Juul Labs has announced plans to cut its workforce by about 30% as the embattled vaping company seeks to reduce costs and boost profitability. Approximately 250 employees will be impacted by the restructuring.
The layoffs are expected to lower Juul’s operating expenses by $225 million annually. According to a company spokesperson, the move aims to improve financial margins and free up capital for potential litigation settlements.
Juul continues to face significant legal and regulatory headwinds impacting its business. Its products were ordered off the market by the FDA last year before a temporary reversal of the ban. Juul is still awaiting a final determination on whether it can keep selling its vapes.
The company has also shelled out over $1 billion in settlements with states over its alleged role in the teen vaping epidemic. And this week, Marlboro maker Altria filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Juul.
In a news release, Juul stated the restructuring helps position it to navigate ongoing “regulatory and marketplace uncertainty.” The workforce reduction follows Juul’s near bankruptcy last year before securing emergency financing.
According to a spokesperson, Juul has been seeking additional investor funding while awaiting the FDA’s decision on its products. The layoffs aim to cut costs dramatically so Juul can endure an extended review process or potential ban.
The remaining employees will focus on securing regulatory approval and advancing Juul’s stated mission to provide an alternative to adult smokers. But significant questions remain about Juul’s viability if its vapes are ultimately prohibited.
Juul rocketed to the top of the vaping market by addicting millions of teens to its high-nicotine products, per critics. It now faces collapse under regulatory and lawsuit pressure.
While the company maintains its aim is switching adult smokers, it remains mired in controversies surrounding underage use. The layoffs only buy Juul more time as it faces increasing hurdles.
Juul’s future hinges on the FDA ruling, but the damage to its reputation and finances may already be irreparable. The cuts appear a desperation move as the once high-flying vape maker gasps for survival.