Juul will cut 650 jobs, up from the previously planned 500 jobs, as it slashes nearly $1 billion in costs next year, a company official said Tuesday.
The job cuts represent 16% of Juul’s 4,051 employees. The fast-growing start-up had been hiring about 300 employees a month.
Juul will cut marketing spending as the company halts all product advertising in the U.S., a move the company announced in September. The remaining team will focus on direct advertising to smokers, the Juul official said Tuesday.
“As the vapor category undergoes a necessary reset, this reorganization will help JUUL Labs focus on reducing underage use, investing in scientific research, and creating new technologies while earning a license to operate in the U.S. and around the world,” Juul’s new CEO K.C. Crosthwaite said.
Juul is trying to overhaul its image from a company that’s largely blamed with fueling a teen vaping epidemic. The company in September replaced CEO Kevin Burns with longtime tobacco executive Crosthwaite.
Crosthwaite previously worked at Altria, the tobacco company that took a 35% stake in Juul late last year. Since joining Juul, he has shaken up management and led the cuts.
He is trying to position Juul as a responsible company. Last week, Juul said it would halt sales of its mint-flavored nicotine pods, which were shown to be the most popular flavor among high school students in two studies.
Juul also removed its other sweet flavors from its website, nearly a year after it pulled the flavors from convenience stores, vape shops and other retailers.
The Trump administration in September announced it was readying a ban on flavored e-cigarettes. Juul and all other e-cigarette companies must submit applications to keep their products on the market to the Food and Drug Administration by May 2020.