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Nike Cuts 5% of Workforce

The layoffs are higher than previously expected.

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Nike Inc. said late Thursday it was cutting 5 percent of its workforce — or about 1,750 jobs — higher than the previously announced estimate of a 4 percent reduction.

In a statement issued after the market’s close, the athletic giant said the workforce reduction would help better the company’s position for the future.

“Our new structure sharpens our consumer focus globally to drive continued growth, while positioning Nike competitively in today’s marketplace,” Mark Parker, president and CEO, said in a statement.

Christopher Svezia, an analyst with Susquehanna Financial Group, agreed that the move could help strengthen the company’s overall operations.

“Let’s face it — they’ve been growing for a very long time,” Svezia said. “We’re taking a positive bent, that there’s an opportunity to become more efficient globally and to be more aggressive in areas where they’ll be more productive.”

Regarding the number of cuts, Svezia added,  “At the end of the day, [it’s a little higher than previous estimates]. Either business is tough and it’s gotten more challenging, or they’re doing the right thing and more than likely there are several layers of management and infrastructure [that can be eliminated].”