Saturday, July 20, 2024

Aqualung Group Reorganizes North American Operations, Will Lay Off 60 Employees

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In a sweeping reorganization of its North American operations, Aqualung Group will lay off 60 US-based employees and close its facilities in California and Hawaii, opting to transfer its US distribution office to the East Coast.

In a memo sent to employees this week and reviewed by DeeperBlue.com, company Chairman and CEO Michael Abaza writes:

“Our Group has faced important challenges over the last years and our cash burn remains unsustainable today. We must take immediate action to reduce our fixed costs. The closure of the US office is a crucial step in this process. This decision is part of the Group’s strategic business orientation to accelerate its ongoing transformation. We will streamline its entire structure in a spirit of simplification at all levels and quickly realign its activities around its core businesses: diving equipment and provision of equipment to Military and Professional customers. All human and financial efforts in the USA will now be dedicated to serving Dive and MP customers. The Group will be exiting the SSP business in the USA and Canada only. SSP range will still be offered outside North America.

“This strategy aims at restoring long-term sustainable growth through a more agile and efficient organization to maintain a competitive edge and safeguard its leadership position.”

Consequently, the company has centralized its operations in France “where geographies are fading away in favor of a global strategy, with adjustments to local market specificities.”

The exact location of the new East Coast office will be determined “in the coming week,” Abaza wrote.

The shutdown of activities in California and Hawaii will be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2024, according to Abaza’s memo, which adds:

“I wish to emphasize that this decision is in now way a reflection of the hard work and dedication that our American colleagues have put into their roles. It is a response to our financial challenges and cash constraints, necessary to secure a stable future for the whole Aqualung Group.”

So out of the company’s 83 US-based employees, 60 jobs are being cut and 23 are being kept, “with 16 on remote work and 7 jobs being offered to transfer to a new facility on the East Coast to be opened in H1 2024,” according to Abaza.

The memo states that the company’s human resources department is committed to providing support to the affected employees via career counseling, severance packages and any other assistance that may be required, adding:

“To the wider Aqualung family, we assure you that this decision will strengthen our ability to weather the current economic challenges and position us for sustained growth in the future. Our commitment to excellence, innovation and collaboration remains unwavering.”

John Liang
John Lianghttps://www.deeperblue.com/
John Liang is the News Editor at DeeperBlue.com. He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.

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