SAN FRANCISCO — The executive who was overseeing Juul’s cost-cutting efforts is leaving the e-cigarette startup after less than a year on the job, the latest of several high-profile departures.
Guy Cartwright, the chief transformation officer, is out, according to a staff memo sent Tuesday and obtained by BuzzFeed News.
In the memo, CEO K.C. Crosthwaite said Cartwright had been “instrumental” in the company’s effort to cut $1 billion in costs, which began late last year. That included laying off 650 staffers, or about 16% of the startup’s global workforce.
Crosthwaite said Bob Robbins, who oversees sales in the Americas, would be taking on an “expanded role” and leading the “business model optimization efforts to position the company for long-term success.” The CEO did not explain why Cartwright was leaving.
Cartwright joined the company in July, according to his LinkedIn profile and became the chief financial officer in October before being appointed chief transformation officer in January. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A Juul spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
At the end of 2018, Juul was valued at $38 billion. But since then, the San Francisco startup has been under tremendous pressure to save money, in large part because it faces marketing restrictions in the US and elsewhere that have cut into its sales. Under heavy criticism for allegedly helping fuel the teen vaping crisis in the US, it stopped sales of all its nontobacco flavors and suspended marketing and lobbying in the US late last year. It has also been kicked out of China and banned in India, once hoped to be two of its biggest potential new markets.
Since the fall 2019 layoffs, during which several top executives left, others have followed. Juul cofounder James Monsees left this month. And in February, the company forced out its two executives who oversaw its Europe and south Asia markets and laid off a portion of its staff in its Singapore office.