Nike details plan that could cut 1,400 jobs

Athletic apparel maker says it will refocus its business on 6 geographic regions in restructuring.

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NEW YORK ( -- Nike Inc. announced details Friday of its previously announced plan to restructure that could result in the cutting of as many as 1,400 jobs.

The athletic apparel maker said it would pare its management teams, and reorganize its Nike brand to focus on six geographic regions such as Western Europe and China instead of the current four, which lump together areas such as the single Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

"This new model sharpens our consumer focus and will allow us to make faster decisions, with fewer management layers," said Nike President Charlie Denson in a statement.

The plan to zero in on specific regions such as China is a good one, and will let the company more accurately tailor its business according to Sam Poser, analyst with investment firm Sterne Agee & Leach.

"It makes sense that they want to narrow their focus," said Poser.

However, it's only part of what Nike needs to do in order to confront the loss of business due to the global economic downturn, he added.

In the U.S., consumers continue to cut back on purchases as money becomes tight.

Nike (NKE, Fortune 500) revealed its intentions to reorganize on Feb. 10, saying the plan could reduce its 35,000-strong global workforce by up to 4%.

In its statement Friday, Nike said it expected to complete a review of the organization by the end of its fiscal year in May. The company said the exact number, timing and location of the jobs to be cut won't be known until the review is complete and representatives of its workers are contacted. To top of page

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