Nike to slash up to 1,400 jobs

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 11 2009 10:12 AM | Updated as of Feb 11 2009 06:12 PM

WASHINGTON - Nike said Tuesday it could cut up to 1,400 jobs from its global workforce to help the giant maker of athletic footwear and apparel cope with a sharp global economic downturn.

The layoffs, representing four percent of the Beaverton, Oregon based company's 35,000 workforce, is part of a restructuring exercise that includes reviewing its entire supply chain -- from the sourcing base to the retail footprint, Nike said.

"The decision to reduce our workforce is a difficult one, but it will put our business in the strongest position possible to continue to deliver long-term profitability and growth," Mark Parker, Nike's chief executive, said in a statement.

"In light of the current economic climate, it is more essential than ever to sharpen our focus on the consumer to maximize opportunities for product innovation and brand management in the marketplace," he said.

The exact number, timing and location of positions expected to be eliminated will not be known until a company review is completed by the end of the current fiscal year in May.