SBD/Issue 100/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Nike To Cut Up To 1,400 Jobs Due To Economy, Reorganization Plan

Nike execs yesterday said that they "will cut as many as 1,400 of the company's 35,000 jobs worldwide," according to Laura Oppenheimer of the Portland OREGONIAN. An announcement "will come this spring, by the end of the company's financial year in late May." The layoffs would be Nike's first since '98 and '99, when the company cut about 2,500 positions. But this is "not the first belt-tightening measure of this recession," as late last year, Nike execs "instituted a hiring freeze, reined in travel spending and said they would slow their plans for opening new stores" in '09. Nike officials said that the upcoming layoffs "were driven partly by the economy," but they also are "tied to a long-term reorganization." Nike Oregon Region Communications Dir Bob Applegate said that staff reductions "will be based on a review of operations" in the company's six consumer-driven groups: soccer, basketball, training, women's training, running and sportswear. Layoffs "will span locations and job types, Nike and affiliated brands" (Portland OREGONIAN, 2/11). Penn Financial Group President Matt McCall said, “What happens in this type of economic downturn, you use this downturn as an excuse to realign operations.” McCall said Nike stock “has been completely battered … but if it keeps coming down a little bit lower it’s going to be a great value play because they have such great worldwide sales” (“Money for Breakfast,” Fox Business, 2/11).

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