SBD/December 5, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Reebok Restructures Work Force, Lays Off 65 At Massachusetts HQs, 150 Globally

Reebok has laid off 65 employees in Canton, Mass., "as part of a restructuring affecting 150 positions globally," according to Donna Goodison of the BOSTON HERALD. The staff cuts represent "about 6.5 percent of its headquarters workforce." Reebok is now "eliminating its European office in Amsterdam and its Asia-Pacific office in Hong Kong, shifting the duties to Canton." Reebok COO Matt O'Toole in a statement said that the "new 'global-direct' operating model and streamlining are designed to improve Reebok’s speed to market and efficiency." Reebok, which "saw 25 percent and 26 percent revenue declines in the past two quarters, has been hurt by lower toning shoe sales, fraud at its India unit, the loss of a major NFL contract and the NHL lockout." The 150 cuts "account for 2 percent of its global headcount of 8,000" (BOSTON HERALD, 12/5). Reebok Corporate Communications Manager Dan Sarro said that the layoffs "are not related to Reebok's relationship" with either the NFL or NHL. In Boston, Abelson & Borchers note while none of yesterday's layoffs were in Reebok's licensed apparel division, the company's "overall financial health has suffered since Nike supplanted Reebok as the NFL’s supplier of onfield uniforms and maker of official NFL gear for fans." Meanwhile, in an announcement made separately from its layoff notice yesterday, Reebok "opened a contest in which fitness buffs can post their workout photos on Twitter, using the hashtag #getafterit." The top vote-getter in online balloting "will win a $500 Reebok gift certificate, and nine runners-up will get T-shirts" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/5).
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