Nike has confirmed plans to reorganize its Nike Brand into a new model consisting of six geographies with reduced management and an increased focus on core category business areas, driving greater efficiencies and stronger consumer connections.

The plan has six new geographies: North America, Western Europe, Eastern/Central Europe, Greater China, Japan and Emerging Markets. The Nike Brand was previously organized by four regions: US, Asia Pacific, Americas and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).

“This new model sharpens our consumer focus and will allow us to make faster decisions, with fewer management layers,” says Charlie Denson, President of the Nike Brand.

The organizational change, however, could result in an overall reduction of up to 4% of the company’s workforce. Nike, Inc. currently employs nearly 35,000 worldwide. The company anticipates completing its overall review of its organization by the end of the current fiscal year. The exact number, timing and location of positions expected to be eliminated will not be known until the overall review is completed and the employee representative bodies have been consulted within accordance with local legal requirements.

For its fiscal 2009 third quarter ended February 28, 2009, Nike posted a decrease in revenue of 2% to $4.4 billion, compared to $4.5 billion for the same period last year. Excluding changes in currency exchange rates, revenue would have increased 2%. The Company also reported worldwide futures orders for Nike brand athletic footwear and apparel, scheduled for delivery from Mar. 2009 through Jul. 2009, totaling $6.5 billion, 10% lower than such orders reported for the same period last year. Excluding the effect of changes in currency exchange rates, reported orders would have declined 2%.

By region, futures orders for the US were down 1%; EMEA (which includes Europe, the Middle East and Africa) decreased 25%; Asia Pacific declined 1% and the Americas were down 4%. Excluding changes in currency exchange rates futures orders in EMEA would have declined 9%, increased 2% in Asia Pacific; and increased 22% in the Americas.

The new global structure will be supported by the following leadership team: North America: Craig Cheek (former VP & GM of US region), Western Europe: Brent Scrimshaw (former VP of EMEA Brand Management), Eastern/Central Europe: Marc van Pappelendam (former Commercial Director in EMEA), Greater China: Willem Haitink (former GM of China), Japan: Jim Godbout (former GM of Japan) and Emerging Markets: Jayme Martin (former VP and GM of the Americas region). These positions will report directly to Gary DeStefano, President Global Operations. Roland Wolfram (former VP & GM of the Asia Pacific region) will assume the role of Head of Global Sales also reporting to Gary DeStefano. Eunan McLaughlin, former Vice President and GM for the Nike EMEA region, will become the new President of the Nike, Inc. Affiliate portfolio reporting directly to Nike, Inc. President and CEO Mark Parker, subject to board approval. Lee Bird, the former President, who led the Affiliates for the last three years, has decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities.

—Regina Henkel