Nike to Lay Off 1,600 Employees After Stock Dip and Woke Drama

Getty Images/Leon Neal

Nike has begun mass layoffs of about 1,600 employees, President and CEO John Donahoe said in a Thursday company-wide email obtained by WFAA.

“This is a painful reality and not one that I take lightly,” Donahoe, who is also the chairman of PayPal, announced. “We are not currently performing at our best, and I ultimately hold myself and my leadership team accountable.” 

The first round of firings took place on Friday and will continue through the end of May. Ultimately, two percent of Nike employees are set to be laid off.

As one of the largest employers in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, Nike has more than 15,500 workers in the Portland, Oregon, and Southwest Washington State area — as well as 83,000 worldwide.

“In December, the company announced a $2 billion cost-cutting and restructuring strategy, signaling that there may be layoffs,” the ABC affiliate reported, speculating that the layoffs will target the company’s Oregon headquarters.

According to Donahoe, the layoffs will not impact store or distribution center employees.

“Nike has a proud history where the most challenging moments bring out the best in us, individually and as a team,” he said. “I know we will come together to respond once again, and I am confident in our future.”

Jana Panafilio, a 29-year Nike veteran, co-created a support group for other former employers after she left. According to Panafilio, 6453 Alumni is a resource for those who have been and will be fired by the athletic apparel company.

“We are here to support as a landing place for those people as they leave the brand to make their transition from Nike to next,” she said.

“There is a disproportionate number of former Nike people that start their own companies. They are looking for talent, and they are looking for clients,” she added. “So, depending on what it is they are looking to do or what kind of help that they need, we have the resources to help them.”

The business move comes after the ultra-woke sportswear giant’s stock took a tumble of more than ten percent in December after news broke that the company was looking to cut a whopping $2 billion from its budget, Breitbart News reported at the time. 

Soon after, golf legend Tiger Woods ended his 27-year contract with Nike to launch his own apparel line.

Nike has been at the center of “woke” ideological drama multiple times in recent years, including the April 2023 signing of transgender TikToker Dylan Mulvaney to model sports bras and leggings. 


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