Weight loss app Noom is firing 495 coaches at a strategy hub

  • Weight loss app Noom fired 180 coaches on Thursday, a coach told Insider.
  • Noom told staff they would fire 315 more coaches within the next 10 days.
  • It’s part of “a development for the coaching model,” Noom management told staff in an email.

Weight loss

app Noom fired 180 coaches on Thursday, according to documents reviewed by Insider.

A coach for the platform said Noom plans to lay off 315 more employees within the next 10 days, offering voluntary severance options. The 495 layoffs began Thursday, with 180 employees escaping a series of video calls in small groups, a platform coach told Insider.

The total layoffs will make up about 25% of its 2,000-person coaching staff, the coach said.

The coach, who was not part of the cuts and asked to remain anonymous, told Insider that the move is part of a strategy hub toward planned video-based coaching, rather than assigning users a text-based coach right away. Noom told staff that the “new model of coaching” will come with “lots of ambiguity in the beginning”, and coaches can expect higher case volumes, according to documents reviewed by Insider.

In a letter to staff, seen by Insider, Noom described the 495 layoffs as part of “an evolution into the coaching model.”

Noom, a leading $ 3.7 billion app-based weight-loss program, rose to dominate the market by promising a unique approach to dieting – helping users “redefine” their relationship with food using psychology-based techniques. Noom advertises for a coaching model “based on” techniques for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), with staff on duty to provide guidance around the clock via text.

However, that promise has been heavily criticized, with users complaining about advice from burnt-out trainers on cans, expensive subscriptions and strict calorie targets. Coaches told Insider they sometimes juggle hundreds of customers at once.

In a discussion of today’s layoffs, the coach told Insider that Noom is offering a voluntary severance option of eight weeks’ pay for up to 350 more employees. Holidays will not be paid in both voluntary and involuntary severance packages, the coach said.

“This decision was not made easily, but it was made with the future vision of the coaching staff and the long-term health of our company in mind,” the Noom management told staff in an email seen by Insider. “We are in a moment of change and it is important that we develop our coaching model to be more viable for the sake of the Noom mission, the long-term health of our company and the coaching team.”

In a statement to Insider, a spokesman said: “Noom is constantly working to meet the changing needs of our users while ensuring the health of our organization as it continues to grow. Separating from part of our coaching staff is a decision that “We did not make it easy and we appreciate their contribution. 1: 1 coaching remains a critical part of the Noom experience for many of our users and we continue to invest in and improve this capability.”

This is a development story. Visit businessinsider.com for updates.