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Oakley to lay off more than 160 in Southern California

Published July 29, 2015

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif. (BRAIN) — Oakley Inc. is laying off 167 employees in Southern California, including 137 at its Foothill Ranch headquarters, according to a filing with the California Employment Development Department, as parent company Luxottica Group of Italy continues to integrate the sunglass and apparel brand into its global business.

The layoffs, which also include 22 in Lake Forest and eight in Encinitas, are effective on various dates starting Sept. 15, according to Oakley's state filing. Some of the cuts don't go into effect until the end of June 2016.

Colin Baden, formerly Oakley's CEO, has been shifted to the position of chief innovation and product officer, with former Luxottica executive Andrea Dorigo taking over as Oakley sports division president based in Foothill Ranch, a company spokesperson said.

Milan-based Luxottica acquired Oakley in 2007 for $2.1 billion. During the first quarter of this year, Luxottica began reorganizing the production systems and sales operations of Oakley to give the brand the same organizational structure as the rest of the company.

In a media statement this week, Luxottica said that the integration will allow Oakley "to better leverage on Luxottica's strengths in everything from commercial expertise to supply chain and logistics. We see huge potential for Oakley in the future. This move, in essence a relaunch of the brand with greater resources behind it, will accelerate growth and position the brand for opportunities ahead.

"As a result of the integration, some areas of the Oakley business will see an impact, primarily small pockets of the business where there is duplication of resources or projects. Preserving Oakley's unique DNA, which has made it an iconic leader in sports, will be a priority. Consumer-facing functions like product, manufacturing and marketing will continue to shape the brand from Foothill Ranch, Calif."

During the company's second-quarter earnings call this week, Massimo Vian, CEO for products and operations, described several milestones for the Oakley integration, including "eliminating key positions in Oakley's structure from the CEO position to the global sales channel's position, global wholesale, global retail, global product development for Oakley."

As of Oct. 1, all back-office functions and infrastructure for North America — including IT, administration and sales operations — will go through Luxottica's wholesale facility in New York and its distribution center in Atlanta, Vian added.

Luxottica has also closed Oakley's European headquarters in Zurich and consolidated personnel at its offices in Milan, London and the Belluno area of Northern Italy. In total, some 400 positions — including vacant posts — have been eliminated globally, the Luxottica spokesperson confirmed.


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