Nike to cut 2%, or 1,600 jobs, as athletic wear giant cuts costs and reinvests in areas like health

NEW YORK (AP) — Nike is cutting 2% of its global workforce, or little over 1,600 jobs, as the athletic wear giant aims to cut costs and reinvest its savings into what it sees as big growth areas like sport, health and wellness.

Nike, based in Beaverton, Oregon, joins a growing number of companies including Estee Lauder and Levi Strauss & Co. that have announced job cuts in recent weeks.

“Nike’s always at our best when we’re on the offense,” Nike said in an emailed response confirming the layoffs.

As of May 31, 2023, Nike employed roughly 84,000 workers, according to its annual report.

The Wall Street Journal’s website was first to report the cuts.

In December, Nike reduced its annual sales outlook for the fiscal year after reporting second-quarter sales results that fell short of company expectations. The reduced outlook came as company executives told analysts that it has seen more cautious consumer behavior worldwide in an “uneven macro environment.”

At the time, Nike said it would be cutting up to $2 billion over the next three years as it aims to simplify product assortment and increase automation and use of technology. It said most of the savings would be used to accelerate innovation and drive speed and scale.

“We see an outstanding opportunity to drive long-term profitable growth,” said John Donahoe, president and CEO, in a statement in December. “Today we are embracing a company-wide journey to invest in our areas of greatest potential, increase the pace of our innovation, and accelerate our agility and responsiveness.”

Nike’s shares fell a little more than 4%, or $4.31, to $101.74 in morning trading on Friday.