Polar Announce Redundancies

Polar Ignite 3 Serene BreathingPolar Announce Redundancies

Polar today announced that it will begin change negotiations for all personnel in Finland. The negotiations intend to reduce the headcount equivalent by 140 (15%).

The company’s communications director, Pauliina Sjölund, said by email that the necessary savings will primarily be made through layoffs.

Zwift – Layoffs as 80 more staff go.

According to Sjölund, demand for Polar products dropped significantly last year. Unfortunately, the same situation appears to have continued into early 2023, prompting today’s move.

Sjölund also said that positive financial signs have been seen from Polar’s fledgling initiatives, such as algorithm licensing but these are insufficient to curtail the planned actions.

We have to take immediate corrective measures to secure the future of our business [Sjölund]

The change negotiations will begin on Monday, March 20 and will last at least six weeks.

Strava: Resignations and reading between the lines

Polar Electro, which manufactures heart rate monitors and other sports instruments, was founded in 1977 in Kempele. According to the 2021 financial statements, the Polar Group employed 1,146 people in 20 countries with a turnover of €152.5m (2021).

Source: Kalev via MBaxter

Take Out

Today’s news comes as no surprise and is very much in line with redundancies we have seen announced elsewhere in the endurance sports industry. Although most so far have been cycling-related whereas perhaps Polar could be viewed more as a running and fitness company.

Only last week we heard fairly solid rumours that Polar might launch a Wear OS watch on Google’s mobile software platform. That is a positive sign that Polar is probably still large enough to weather the upcoming financial storm but smaller companies may struggle even more.

Polar to return to Wear OS hints CEO




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15 thoughts on “Polar Announce Redundancies

  1. This reminds me that I have 2 aged Polar Pro straps that I’m losing confidence in. I should stock up. I’m sure my $70 will save the company. :`(

  2. Bit of a shame really because Polar got me started in running back with the M21 heart rate monitor in the early nineties. Great and reliable products. In fact, my little M200 still works after all these years and it’s still really accurate. The newest Polar Vantage V2 is a really great looking and feature full watch too.

    I don’t use Polar products at the moment but intend to move back to them in the next couple years (I have too many watches my wife tells me!)

  3. Polar should try advertising! The best fitness watch made shouldn’t be depending on word of mouth!

  4. Its not like there is low demand on Polar products its simply Polar missing customers demand. You cant cheat reality. Poor update support, many bugs, poor hardware. Polar blame customers, they should look at mirror at first place

  5. Hardly surprising if sad nevertheless. Their fate was a done deal before the pandemic. The software platform is utterly stagnant with an ever growing number of bugs, the hardware is meh at best and isn’t really competitive in any way including price, and a feature gap is increasing, not just with Garmin, but now even COROS and Apple.

    Both Suunto and Polar are going the way of Nokia. Maybe had they joined together a few years ago, with Suunto providing hardware and GPS expertise and Polar throwing in their platform and algorithms, they would have had a shot to remain a contrarian competitor on the level of COROS… Now it’s a just a tragic slowly moving train wreck.

    1. yeah, maybe
      I suspect Coros has a more agile approach to feature development.
      yet Coros’ features often only scratch the surface and tick the box. but that’s perhaps what people want, the feature checklist approach worked well for garmin a decade ago.

    2. I don’t see any feature gap between Polar nad Coros. I don’t think even Apple is at the level of Polar yet. Garmin is on whole another level though.

  6. Wahoo makes a great bike computer but a horrible watch, Polar makes a great watch but does not have a bike computer. How about some sort of Joint Venture between the 2 companies? A Wahoo Roam working with a Polar Grit X combination would Rival (pun intended) A Garmin Fenix /Edge 830 combination any day.

  7. I don’t think this is so much to worry about. Sad that people loosing their jobs, but I don’t think Polars future in the business is on the line atm.

    But, for them to actually sell more they need to release watches. What do you think, is there coming a new flagship this spring or do they wait until fall?

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