Specialized has today announced it has laid off eight per cent of its workforce, approximately 125 people, with immediate effect.
In a press release, the company cites industry and economic challenges as the reason for the decision, stating “it’s clear the time has come for transformation and shifts for the future.”
“We are transforming the company around our purpose to Pedal the Planet Forward,” states Scott Maguire, the new CEO following last year’s stepping-down of founder Mike Sinyard. “Our priority is to better serve riders, retailers, and communities and to be the best place for our teammates to innovate and grow. The time is now to adapt to the current environment and ultimately led us to make some extremely tough decisions today.”
The press release also confirms that the layoffs affect the company globally. Further details uncovered by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (opens in new tab) report that this total includes seven employees based in Oregon and nine in Washington. The relevant public notice, known as a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN), is yet to be filed in California where the company’s Morgan Hill HQ is situated.
“Over the last three years, the industry has changed at an incredible pace and shown that cycling is more powerful than ever,” read the press release. “It’s clear the time has come for transformation and shifts for the future.”
But transformation is undoubtedly an already-ongoing process at the American brand. In February 2022, the brand introduced a new direct-to-consumer model to work alongside its traditional retail approach. In March 2022, the company’s founder and CEO, Mike Sinyard, stepped down and was replaced by former Dyson COO Scott Maguire. Soon after, he was joined by former CEO of Canyon, Armin Landgraf, and later David Schriber from Nike.
In August 2022, the brand announced the acquisition of UK retail chain Rutland Cycling (opens in new tab), considering job losses therewith. More recently, it cut ties with a large number of its ambassadors, despite claiming in a statement to Cyclingnews that “our social ambassador program is continuing to change with the needs of the rider, but it definitely isn’t going away.” Notably, the brand has continued to sponsor its WorldTour teams and has since taken on new individuals, including former WorldTour pro Mitch Docker.
The move comes after a turbulent year for the…