Orange County sunglass company Oakley is laying off more than 160 employees in Southern California, according to state records, as it further merges operations with its Italian parent company.
The job cuts are part of an ongoing “integration” by Luxottica Group, a Milan luxury-eyewear maker that acquired its former rival for $2.1 billion in 2007. The company said in a statement that the effort would “accelerate growth and position the brand for opportunities ahead.” It also has eliminated the position of chief executive at Oakley replica.
The decisions will cost nearly 140 jobs at replica Oakley’s sunglasses Foothill Ranch headquarters, according to a filing with the California Employment Development Department. There are also 22 layoffs in Lake Forest and eight in Encinitas.
In a conference call with analysts Monday, Luxottica co-CEO Adil Mehboob-Khan said integration savings would be invested back into Oakley outlet, which also sells clothing.
“Oakley replica is on the we-want-to-invest list, not on the we-want-to-extract-savings list,” he said, according to a transcript of the conference call.
Oakley replica employs about 2,200 people in Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest and Encinitas, with most of those at its headquarters, Luxottica spokeswoman Jane Lehman said. She would not confirm the number of layoffs, which will take effect Sept. 15, according to state records.
Luxottica has previously said it wants to improve “operating efficiency” at Oakley outlet and give the brand the same organizational structure as Luxottica. It also wants to double the number of Oakley outlet retail stores over three years, the company said in May. There are now 260 Oakley replica stores, most of which are in North America.
As part of the restructuring, Colin Baden, previously CEO, is now chief innovation and product officer, and Andrea Dorigo, a former Luxottica executive, has taken over as president of Oakley’s sport division, Lehman said.
Luxottica reported this week that its net income rose 25% in the second quarter. The company, which also owns Ray-Ban and Oliver Peoples, does not break down results by brands. Luxottica produces and distributes sunglasses for Prada and Giorgio Armani as well.
The local job cuts follow some turmoil last year at Luxottica, where longtime CEO Andrea Guerra stepped down amid conflicts with the firm’s founder, Leonardo Del Vecchio. A new leadership structure was then created to ensure “stronger management” of the eyewear conglomerate.