Nike quietly cuts employees in rolling layoffs, scope unclear

An employee, shown from above, speaks on a mobile phone while walking across a basketball court decorated with a Swoosh logo

Nike has quietly laid off employees over the past several weeks and on Wednesday signaled plans for a broad restructuring. Pictured, a Nike employee at the company's headquarters in 2018.Natalie Behring/Getty Images

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Nike has quietly laid off employees over the past several weeks and on Wednesday signaled plans for a broad restructuring, but it has yet to comment on the scale or reasons for the ongoing staff reductions.

In recent weeks, the company laid off employees in various divisions, including human resources, recruitment, sourcing, brand, engineering, digital products, and innovation, according to LinkedIn posts and current and former employees who spoke with The Oregonian/OregonLive.

Nike did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this article. Multiple current employees said the company has not given employees information about the layoffs.

“I feel like they want to keep it confidential,” said a Nike employee who was laid off this week. “There’s been no communication at all.”

The current and former employees asked not to be named for fear of endangering their jobs or their future professional opportunities.

Nike has not notified the state of a mass layoff, which it would be required to do if it lays off 500 workers in a 90-day period.

The layoffs come as Nike works to regain lost momentum. The company’s stock is roughly flat this year while the S&P 500, a broad basket of stocks, is up 19%. Competitors have picked away at Nike’s dominance in running shoes, its legacy category.

On Wednesday afternoon, Nike sent an email to employees outlining a number of executive changes designed to accelerate decision-making and how it meets the needs of consumers.

Wednesday’s internal announcement followed a November announcement of new heads of innovation, design, marketing and technology. That announcement followed a May executive shuffle designed to help the company develop the next “breakthrough innovation.”

In October, Nike announced employees will be required to work in the office four days a week starting in January, up from the current policy of three days a week.

In recent history, Nike has had large-scale layoffs every three years.

In 2020, the company laid off 700 workers here as part of a restructuring designed to make the company more nimble. In 2017, Nike eliminated 745 jobs in Oregon.

Nike is Oregon’s largest company. It had 83,700 employees worldwide as of May 31, according to its last annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Of those, 11,400 worked on the company’s roughly 400-acre headquarters campus near Beaverton.

A year earlier, the company employed 79,100, including 11,200 at its headquarters.

Nike is scheduled to announce quarterly earnings on Dec. 21.

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– Matthew Kish;; 503-221-4386

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