Shari Eaton is Peloton’s SVP, Global Head of People. Image Source: Peloton.
Eaton immediately felt a strong connection to the company's people-centric values and decided to leave her operations role at Amazon Go to join the exercise equipment company as its SVP of people.
"I had this really fantastic career conversation with my leader at the time, she had seen that when I lead operations teams, I lead in a way that is very people-focused,” Eaton told The Org. “So she asked me -- have you ever considered a role in HR?"
Initially, Eaton was hesitant about moving to a role in HR with limited experience, but after a few personal assessments on what she cared about and brought her joy she decided it was the most natural progression in her career.
"I took a leap of faith and am really happy that I did," Eaton said.
Now, after almost two years with the company, Eaton serves as Peloton’s SVP, Global Head of People. In her role, she oversees the global people team, including change management, talent management, and learning and development.
On a day-to-day basis, Eaton spends a lot of her time speaking with business leaders in the company and working through challenges in different teams, on top of coming up with strategies and helping execute new products and services. There are currently 160 employees in the People team, with 9 direct reports to Eaton.
As her team expands, Eaton knows it's essential to anchor and align its vision. She has developed three critical pillars of work to abide by: nurturing culture, fostering growth and development among her team members, and supporting the company.
"It's easy to create a team of people, but it's hard to bring them together and make sure that they're harmonizing their work," Eaton said. "We leverage these pillars to ensure that we're focused on the right objectives and outcomes."
For Eaton, one of the most important and exciting projects she is currently involved in is delivering on the Peloton Pledge. The pledge is a commitment the fitness company made last summer to become an antiracist organization. Over the next four years, the company will invest $100M in fighting racial injustice and inequality.
In April, Peloton launched partnerships with nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and overseas, including GirlTrek, The Steve Fund, The Center for Antiracist Research, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The company has expanded its diversity and inclusion team, launch new learning and development programs, and increase hourly wages for its employees.
"We've been doing a lot of goal writing, principal drawing and sketching this out, but it's coming together. We're generating a ton of excitement for what this work and focus can do for our team," she said. "That gets me really excited and gets me out of bed every day."
Peloton has come under heavy scrutiny this year, with its stock dropping 34% after it announced a recall of treadmills in the U.K. and U.S. following the death of a six-year-old child.
"I think our entire team cares deeply about health and wellness, including safety," Eaton said, in regards to the recent recalls. "The Peloton executive team's commitment is to work in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission because we feel that this is the right thing to do."
Despite the recalls, Peloton's plans to grow in the home and fitness space have not been hindered. The company announced on May 24 that it would invest $400M in building a factory in Troy Township, Ohio. The investment is estimated to create over 2,000 new manufacturing assembly and quality assurance jobs in the area.
As the company moves forward, Eaton is optimistic there will be many opportunities for the company to grow."We have big goals and big ideas and I'm so excited to help our team deliver on those."
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