Danish toymaker Lego plans to cut 1,400 jobs globally by the end of this year following its first drop in sales since 2004, the company announced today.
According to a report from The Guardian, Lego — which celebrated its 85th anniversary just last month — has seen a 6% decline in revenue, with net profit down 3%. Weaker than expected demand in the USA and parts of Europe is cited as the main contributing factor in the decline.
The job losses are being described by Lego as a “reset button” for the company, which has become “too complex” to support global growth. The company’s goal is to shift focus and “reach more children” in Europe and the United States, as well as capitalizing on its recent double-digit growth in China. By “simplifying” their business model and utilizing a “smaller” and “less complex” organization, Lego hopes to reverse the decline and achieve growth.
The announced job cuts represent around 8% of the company’s 18,000-strong global workforce. It’s unclear at this time which specific sections of the company will be hit but it’s likely to affect most areas of the business. Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, the current chairman of the Lego group, issues the following apology to employees in a statement:
“We are very sorry to make changes which may interfere with the lives of many of our colleagues. Our colleagues put so much passion into their work every day and we are deeply grateful for that. Unfortunately, it is essential for us to make these touch decisions.”
The next Lego video game, Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2, is scheduled for release November 14, 2017. Development studio TT Games is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, so it’s likely they will be unaffected by the job cuts, though it’s unclear whether upcoming plans for Lego video games will change.