Juul plans to lay off 30% of workforce in cost-cut push – source

FILE PHOTO: Juul brand vape cartridges are pictured for sale at a shop in Atlanta

(Reuters) -Juul Labs is planning to lay off 30% of its workforce, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday, as the e-cigarettes maker aims to reduce its operating costs.

The restructuring is aimed at maximizing profitability and cash-flow generation, the company said in a statement, adding that it would substantially reduce its headcount to deliver on the company’s strategy.

The e-cigarettes maker joins several companies across corporate America that have trimmed their workforce this year in a bid to rein in costs amid still-high inflation and rising interest rates.

Juul would lay off about 250 people, bringing its workforce down to around 650, the source said.

The Wall Street Journal had first reported on the news earlier on Wednesday.

Last year, the once red-hot vaping company had planned to lay off about 400 people and reduce its operating budget by 30% to 40% as part of a reorganization, staving off a possible bankruptcy filing.

The fresh round of job cuts would reduce operating expenses by $225 million, WSJ reported on Wednesday, citing a company spokesperson.

Juul has also been under pressure over the past year, as it has had to deal with lawsuits related to marketing of its e-cigarettes.

In April, the company had agreed to pay $462 million over eight years to settle claims by six U.S. states including New York and California, along with the District of Columbia, that it unlawfully marketed its addictive products to minors.

On Tuesday, Marlboro maker Altria Group said that its unit NJOY has filed a complaint against Juul with the U.S. International Trade Commission, seeking a ban on the import and sale of Juul products.

(Reporting by Granth Vanaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai and Shailesh Kuber)