Oregon companies Wieden+Kennedy and Nike both announced layoffs Wednesday.
Wieden+Kennedy, a Portland-based advertising agency, said it has laid off 11% of its global workforce due to financial impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. It would not specify the number of Portland employees that have been laid off.
“We negotiated this as long as we could, but W+K and COVID-19 have reached an impasse,” the ad agency said in a statement. “How long this will last seems to be anybody’s guess, so we have had to make some hard choices.”
Wieden+Kennedy said its laid off employees are receiving four months’ severance pay, on average.
The agency has regularly worked with companies including Nike, famously creating its “Just Do It” slogan in the 1980s. It recently worked with the state to produce its coronavirus-related messaging campaign.
Nike Wednesday also announced the beginning of layoffs, as well as management shifts, related to a larger reorganization of the company.
Nike said it expects to have a “net loss of jobs across the company” resulting in employee termination costs of between $200 million and $250 million. It did not specify the number of employees expected to be laid off.
The announcement comes as part of Nike’s “Consumer Direct Acceleration” plan, what it calls a “digitally empowered phase” of the company’s strategy, looking to make Nike a simpler and more streamlined organization.
“We are announcing changes today to transform NIKE ... accelerate against our biggest growth opportunities and extend our leadership position,” John Donahoe, Nike president and CEO, said in a statement.
The company said it is shifting to a “simpler consumer construct” of men’s, women’s and kids products, and has announced new management to lead each of those categories.