Burton Reduces Global Workforce by 4%


It’s layoff season at the big B and this year’s cuts have hit especially hard with nearly 40 of Burton’s 900-person global workforce handed their pink slips on March 16, 2016. This comes following major blows such as the bankruptcy announcement from Sports Authority, in which Burton is owed some $3.9 million, and rumors of Dick’s Sporting Goods’ decision to discontinue the sale of Burton hardgoods entirely.

Burton is framing the cutbacks as an attempt streamline processes and restructure the business. The cuts include multiple key sales roles, such as sales directors, the women’s brand manager and some product developers. The layoffs were across the board and no department was spared. In addition, the Los Angeles store will reportedly close and the NYC store is moving to a smaller location.

Burton President John Lacy addressed the staff in an email. 

 As you all know, this season was one of the toughest for our industry, due to unfavorable weather, global economic instability, and a challenged retail landscape. And while Burton continues to have a strong brand position, unfortunately our business is not immune to these realities. So in response, we’ve had to make very tough decisions, the hardest one being our action today to reduce the size of our global workforce by almost 4%.

What that really means is that we had to let some good people go. Friends and colleagues were affected in every area of our business, and in multiple regions, and it isn’t easy to say goodbye. We’ve now talked directly with everyone affected by these changes, and our HR team is working with each of them to provide full service support during this transition. These decisions are not easy nor are they taken lightly. Please know we will be doing everything we can to help ensure these individuals have the tools and backing they need to take on this next chapter.

Now, what does this mean for the rest of us as we move forward?

Let me be clear:  I am confident we have the right focus, the right plans, the right product and brand platforms, and the right team to turn our business condition around. It doesn’t stop with just addressing our workforce. You have the commitment from the entire Senior Team that we will work on all aspects of our business to streamline efforts and maximize opportunities, with the objective to re-stabilize success today and in the future.

This is not news anyone wants to hear and we hope that things turn around in the coming season.

40 replies
  1. DenverBroncos
    DenverBroncos says:

    Sports Authority hasn’t missed a single payment for the naming rights to Mile High Stadium though, thank goodness.

  2. Richgetricher
    Richgetricher says:

    Don’t forget that only a few weeks ago, Burton announced promotions for a handful of higher ups that are responsible for driving the brand into the ground. They are the reason the good people leave, and also the reason innocent people are fired. Totally makes sense to reward them with more $. It’s not going to get any better anytime soon. If you were let go this week, congratulations! Go work somewhere that gives a shit. If you weren’t let go, congratulations! You know get to be taken for granted for another year!

    • but wait
      but wait says:

      I don’t understand how these collabs aren’t making money for the brand, they are charging $250 for Neighborhood x Burton tshirts, and $1600 for the jackets!! These must be FLYING off the shelves! Good thing they fired the dude who would have actually made them profitable and relevant in the apparel world. Idiots.

  3. TROOF
    TROOF says:



  4. Gobacktocoachella
    Gobacktocoachella says:

    The majority of people let go had 10+ years with the brand. Loyalty will get you nothing in that shit hole. There is no such thing as a career at Burton. Work 3 years if you can tolerate it and get the fuck out. The morons at the top aren’t going anywhere. What company in there right mind would pay that much for a handful of incompetent idiots? They are trapped there just like the rest of you. Save yourself and quit!

  5. burtonis4dicks
    burtonis4dicks says:

    Stand up specialty! You know they are gonna come crawling back with more “support local” bullshit after nationals crumble. They sunk so much $ into trying to flush product through that channel. Dicks can’t sell a snowboard to save their life and it took them 10 years to finally realize that. All the while, specialty struggled and shops like SnoCon went under. Fuck them! Don’t take them back! Support brands that treat people better.

  6. The Purge is real
    The Purge is real says:

    For some strange reason, people still think it’s cool to work there. Please explain what’s cool about constantly worrying about being fired for no real reason other than the fact that your “leaders” make shit decisions. The two aging assholes targeted in “the letter” get promoted and you get fired. Cool? Oh I forgot, you get a free Stowe pass and you can bring your dog to work. Cool! Keep up the good work and stay in your bubble.

  7. Lacyunderalls
    Lacyunderalls says:

    Allow me to translate el preisdente’s email for those of you who don’t know how things work at Burton.
    “This week we fired bunch of people that have been here too long. They were making more $ than they should’ve been and for that reason, they had to go. Flying marketing to collab release parties that no one is actually of is not cheap so we had to find that money in other places. Rest assured, HR is doing everything they can to cover our asses and make sure these people don’t talk about what really goes on here. They will all get 2 weeks pay for every year they are with the brand. After that, fuck em! I know this is the worst possible time to raise prices, but we’re doing it because along with the rest of your awesome senior management team, we’ve really screwed ourselves into a corner by placing all our eggs in the Nationals basket. There will be a party in area 13 today to make you forget how many of your friends just got fired.”

    • this comment
      this comment says:

      Is literally perfect. Exactly what it’s like to work there. “Don’t worry guys, just remember that one day a year for 3 hours we all go to Stowe for a PR event to make us seem like we care I mean “company ride day”!!

  8. Burtonsucks!!!
    Burtonsucks!!! says:

    Agree! If you were let go…..congrats! If not, RUN as fadt as you can! The worst experience in my WHOLE life!!!!!!

  9. Lacyisanasshole
    Lacyisanasshole says:

    Burton is the worst employer ever! They don’t give a shit! The Carpenters and their “best Friends” are EVIL. Only time and KARMA! Burton is not going anywhere. For those that still believe in that crappy company: please REACT! Go somewhere else and get a life. Otherwise, you’ll become a zombie. NO KIDDING: The longer you stay there the least desirable you’ll be for other companies.

  10. Smokey the bear
    Smokey the bear says:

    They should have their boys set fire to 80 too! The insurance has got to be worth more than that sinking ship of a brand. Then they can take their swinger friends on a permanent vacation and let everyone else get on with their lives.

  11. WeekAfterUSOpenLayoffs
    WeekAfterUSOpenLayoffs says:

    Post US Open firings are still a thing there, come one…seriously?! That’s still a thing…for real??!!

    Banner Year for the Big B…Sales have officially shat the bed, couldn’t wean themselves off that BigBox teet in time, specialty has moved on, their kids burned down an VT icon and only fessed up when they got busted, finally gave up and promoted JL to President (we all know how that story ends right), he proceeds to oversee a massive layoff which only gives him an even bigger dick to swing around at 80…has anyone stood up to him since I got fired for doing so? Seriously, anyone??

    Good luck everyone left…good luck…Shame on anyone who was surprised when their card got pulled last week. Old Timers Fight hard for that extra severance, you earned it.

    By the way, who keeps leaking Burton corporate e-mails to YoBeat…not that it’s not totally awesome, just surprised they don’t address that internally (ha!)

  12. Frankie's PonyTail
    Frankie's PonyTail says:

    Not chill. Not chill at all. An intense passion for board sports only gets you so far these days.

  13. trail of tears
    trail of tears says:

    This is an easy story to follow. The C’s and the D’s have ran the B straight into the ground with bad business decisions, over spending and not focusing on product and innovation. If you want to see the lowest of blows check out instagram to see what the head style guy is doing while the layoff are going down. He’s flying first class all over the world and having a great time expensing the whole thing while good people get fired. He should have the balls to do some of the layoffs himself.
    Keep the party rolling Burton. Keep the co-labs coming, they are awesome. Keep rolling out those $200 tees that no one buys. Burton, you gotta look in the mirror to see what’s really going on and make some serious changes. The jig is up. Everyone but the people at the very top can see what’s really happening, and its starting to look really rotten. Jake and Donna, we love you, but you gotta wake up.

  14. BS
    BS says:

    There are a lot of things in this article that aren’t true. I actually talked to people who know what’s going on.

    Yobeat – check your facts and stop spreading rumors. The NYC store is moving to a bigger location, not a smaller one and the LA store isn’t going anywhere.

    Loosing a lot of respect for Yobeat…

    • Shshshshshutyourface
      Shshshshshutyourface says:

      Are you really gonna try and put out a forrest fire by pissing on it? I’m sure your “burton source” prides themselves on being honest and forthright and not trying to ease a PR nightmare otherwise known as the truth. Their own retail is one of their biggest problems and they just fired a guy with 2 kids, that’s been there for at least 12 years, while the “Presidents” wife has her own office, and a made up job where she works less then 20 hours a week, managing shit for outlet stores. I guarantee she makes more than she should. Just because you continue to open flagship stores and an alarming number of outlets doesn’t mean you are doing well. In this case, they are desperately trying to flush out all the product that they take back from their major accounts. Don’t forget, they also thought that selling to Dicks and the Sports Authority was an amazing opportunity that would help the sport. Wrong! It was an amazing opportunity to send the industry into a nose dive, while clogging the toilet with low end, SMU bullshit designed for people that don’t snowboard, while lining their pockets. Respect that! Sure, weather and the economy plays a role like the president says, but that shit is nothing but a smoke screen hiding the real reason. They can not and will not tell you the truth because that would make everything that they’ve ever told you before, a lie. So lose respect for yobeat instead of a handful of rich idiots that are fucking the industry, along with their own employees. Feel bad for the top layer, that all got promotions before the US Open for doing absolutely nothing aside from motivating any and all smart people to leave over the past 4 years. New York and LA are extreme under performers and they will be dealt with. They don’t make financial sense and the CFO turned CEO knew it, unfortunately, he quit. Well, Burton’s version of quit where you actually get pushed out and agree to say you are leaving on your own, in order to get paid out. Respect that!

      • yeah right
        yeah right says:

        its true, the burton retail arm is its worst enemy? They are going in the wrong direction.

    • upstatemike.
      upstatemike. says:

      The storefront NYC is moving in to is less than half the size as the current. How do I know this? I used to manage that store. I also helped renovate it. And I was also recently sent the listings for both by real estate agents. Sounds like you’re the one with the misinformation…

      • upstatemike.
        upstatemike. says:

        I also don’t blame them as soho retail has changed drastically in the last 5 years. Every other “action sports” store has closed there, so Burton is lucky to even stay alive there. However, if they keep selling Burton tees for $250, not sure how long this new location is going to last. Just sayin. It would be a shame for Burton to be out of soho, especially because of all the good people that would their jobs.

  15. GDs Butt Plug (feel the bern)
    GDs Butt Plug (feel the bern) says:

    Seasonal lay-offs post US Open have been happening like clockwork for over 10 years. Are people really acting surprised here?

    Waaaaaaaaah Global Warming, shitty segmentation strategy, dumb collabs, specialty is dying, big box is dying, drugged out morons in executive roles, stone hut burned, carving is cool, nepotism waaaaaaaah.

    This has been the same song for decades people! COME ON!

    I am going to start “Action Sports Anonymous” to help people leave this shitty industry. There is a life on the other side people.

    The smart ones know you can only work at the B 5 years max before you get fired. There are literally dozens of people who leave on their own terms and find great gigs elsewhere. B is an awesome springboard for a gig at a real company elsewhere. Take it for what it is.

    Hope is not a strategy. Don’t stay past your welcome. The end is eventual.

    YOU ARE NEXT (who remembers that lay-off meme from 02′?). Homie works at at car dealership website for fucks sake.

    If you aren’t ripping gackers in the back of Craig’s with Sacred G then polish that resume and stop lying to yourself.

    BTW I don’t know what JL is talking about, I shredded mad pow this winter.

  16. Sacred Gspot
    Sacred Gspot says:

    Is Ivan O really partying and expensing shit while the staff makes 35k a year? Lacy fire this bearded troll who knows nothing about snowboarding. And the botoxed Ivan wife too. And bring back the knowbuddy.

  17. Amd got promoted
    Amd got promoted says:

    This company needs help. Mis management and no clear direction. Everyone is pulling for the B but the hits keep coming and so do the laughs and stories of high-ups funny antics. Layoffs happen but this company needs to really examine its inner workings and public perception.

  18. Forrest Gladding
    Forrest Gladding says:

    Burton is probably making some big business mistakes. But I still think it is funny how people love to bash Burton for not being “core” or “true to its roots” but how many probably ride Rossignol, Salomon, K2?? before you start bashing a real snowboard company, how about bashing all the ski brands that want to still make a dollar off snowboarding while doing nothing to help the sport, if anything going on record that they support resorts that still ban snowboarding. Give me a break snowboarders, get your priorities right in who to bash first. In my book there are at least a dozen companies that go to the top of the list before Burton.

    • Run Forrest Run
      Run Forrest Run says:

      Stupid is as stupid does Forrest. This isn’t about snowboarding. This is about a brand that treats people like shit and is leading everyone that is dumb enough to keep working there, into a deep, dark hole. This is about a brand that pretends to care. They are the Bill Cosby of snowboard brands, loved by people who are oblivious as to what happens after you go for a drink. Being core has nothing to do with it, but being an asshole has everything to do with it, and the top shelf is nothing but a bunch of buttholes!

    • yeah right
      yeah right says:

      Forrest the problem is, when you are the top dog, you have to be a leader, and that just simply hasn’t been what burton has been about for the last 10 plus years. So people hate on them for not doing the right things for the industry. Some people are greedy, and can’t look 2 years ahead

  19. Evan's Rosebud
    Evan's Rosebud says:

    The Bill Cosby of snowboarding. That’s good. Very creative. Run Foreest Run do you need a job? We are looking for a senior writer. We are creative thought leaders that do so much for the sport. Comes with a free Stowe pass and you can bring your dog to work. We don’t report to Greg anymore so your job is safe for at least 18 months.

    • Run Forrest Run
      Run Forrest Run says:

      Are you offering me an opportunity to come work in one of the healthiest cities in America, where you will pay me almost enough to eat, if I live with like 4 other people, with no opportunity or clear cut career path, where I can work late every day, AND meet cool people like Chris Nunez and maybe Gwen Stefani? Throw in some Ben and Jerry’s, a 3% increase per “good” year, and promise you will help me get a job at either Dealer.com or Green Mountain Coffee after I get fired, and you got yourself a deal!!! Have one of your incredibly competent HR members draft up an offer letter and I will see you soon. Thanks!

      • Jill Bong
        Jill Bong says:

        Hello RFR,

        I run B HR @ HQ. Please provide an email and I will send you standard Non Disclosure and Non Compete Agreements. And just to level set we can’t promise we will pay you enough to eat or live nor can we promise you will met Gwen as our contract with her states that AMD is the only person allowed to interact with her and even then the contract states she was allowed 1 selfie with her and Gavin. That quota has been reached as you can see by her IG account. Also we must make it clear we have no employment pipeline with Dealer.com or GMCR. We’ve hit the point of diminishing returns with those two companies and last I checked they are now refusing to hire anybody who has worked at Burton in the past 5 years.

        What I can promise you is a job that will crush your soul and love of snowboarding. I can also guarantee that by the time we fire you in late 2017 you will have no viable job prospects in Vermont and will most likely have to move back in with your parents in Jerz.

  20. La kooka Roacha
    La kooka Roacha says:

    In summation I think the main thing here is that the B could be doing so much more to advance Snowboarding and set the standard for employees in the industry with it’s reach but instead it chooses to be it’s own worst enemy and is starting to be an enemy of snowboarding in general. In some cases lay offs are unavoidable but Lacey’s reasoning is pretty much a bull shit cover story for real, actual problems within the company from the ground up. Why lay so many people off before freezing salaries and cutting higher ups salaries? The lay offs aren’t a new thing but 40 and to lay off people who have done and we’re doing nothing so much for the company is just un-necessary. So many things are a miss here like why in the hell was SA given a credit line that high in the first place big box or not and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Also to see AMD and GD living it up while literally the livelihood of their employees was getting crushed is beyond stupid. If you cut both of their salaries in half they would still be filthy rich and 40 layoffs wouldn’t happen. I wonder if either one of those douche cocker spaniels actually reads any of these stories or comments if they read this one I would seriously like to hear even a half assed excuse why they think their behavior is even close to O….

    KNOWBUDY says:


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