In a company-wide email obtained by WFAA, President and CEO John Donahoe announced that Nike has initiated significant workforce reductions, affecting approximately 1,600 employees.

“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 initial wave of terminations occurred on Friday and is scheduled to extend until the conclusion of May. In total, two percent of Nike’s workforce will be subject to layoffs. Being a major employer in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, Nike employs over 15,500 individuals in the Portland, Oregon, and Southwest Washington State region, in addition to 83,000 employees globally.

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

Donahoe stated that the layoffs would not affect employees working in stores or distribution centers.

“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 Nike veteran with 29 years of experience, collaborated in establishing a support group for former employees upon her departure. As stated by Panafilio, 6453 Alumni serves as a valuable resource for individuals who have been or will be terminated from the athletic apparel company.

“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 sportswear giant Nike experienced a significant decline in its stock, dropping over ten percent in December. This prompted the company to announce its plans to reduce its budget by a staggering $2 billion. In response to this, renowned golfer Tiger Woods terminated his 27-year contract with Nike and decided to establish his own clothing brand.

Over the past few years, Nike has been involved in various instances of “woke” ideological controversies. One such incident occurred in April 2023 when they signed transgender TikToker Dylan Mulvaney as a model for their sports bras and leggings.