Nike CEO Announces Job Cuts

Company's workforce reduced by 2% as it looks for answers in increasingly competitive market.

Nike store front with large logo and mannequins displaying sportswear inside
Sopa Images / SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Nike store front with large logo and mannequins displaying sportswear inside

Nike CEO John Donahoe announced that the company is laying off roughly 2% of its workforce Thursday evening. The move was communicated to employees by an internal e-mail that Complex Sneakers obtained.

"While interest in sport, health, wellness and comfort has never been stronger, we are in a highly competitive industry where speed and end-to-end execution is critical to win," said Donahoe in the e-mail. "To compete, we must edit, shift and divest less critical work to create greater focus and capacity for what matters most."

Specifically, the e-mail states that the company is focused on accelerating its innovation and investing in its 'most significant fields of play and growth opportunities' such as running, women's, and the Jordan Brand. The job cuts were described as one of the ways Nike is attempting to align its organization with its strategy.

"This is a painful reality and not one that I take lightly," the e-mail reads. "We are not currently performing at our best, and I ultimately hold myself and my leadership team accountable. That said, I have never been more confident in our leadership and team to drive the clarity and teamwork required to win."

Variety of sneakers displayed on wall shelves, mainly in classic and sporty styles

When asked for comment, a Nike spokesperson issued the following statement to Complex Sneakers:

Nike’s always at our best when we’re on the offense. The actions that we’re taking put us in the position to right-size our organization to get after our biggest growth opportunities as interest in sport, health and wellness have never been stronger. While these changes will impact approximately 2% of our total workforce, we are grateful for the contributions made by all Nike teammates.”

This round of Nike job cuts wasn't completely unexpected. In December, the company announced that layoffs were likely imminent as part of an effort to save $2 billion over the next three years. This came as Nike's full fiscal-year revenue was only projected to be up 1%, far less than the 3.8% increase that analysts had expected.

Exiting Nike employees will be offered packages of financial, healthcare, and outplacement support services. The process is expected to begin this Friday.