Top trio axed in Hi-Tec cutbacks

Hi-Tec Sports, the sports shoes manufacturer and distributor, has made three top marketers redundant. All three were recently brought in from tobacco giant Rothmans UK (MW January 6).

The company will also make “significant” reductions in the number of lines it produces as a result of growing competition in a tough market.

Charles Kirchner, former sales and distribution director at Rothmans, accepted the post of managing director designate at Hi-Tec in November 1994.

He was joined earlier this year by Marlboro brand manager Janine Hawkins, who came in as marketing director, and Rothmans’ sales director Simon Curry, who became sales director at Hi-Tec. All three left the sports shoe company earlier this month.

Hi-Tec’s finance director John Fallon says recent poor performance by Hi-Tec led to nine redundancies across the firm’s workforce of 120. “The three were brought in from Rothmans to develop a long-term strategy for Hi-Tec, but the recent problems meant we had to concentrate on short-term strategy,” he says.

None of the positions will be replaced and marketing for the company will be overseen by marketing manager Franáoise Brooks.

Hi-Tec has been hit by a decline in the white trainer market and tough competition from Nike and Reebok. This led to discounting on many of the company’s products, and forced Hi-Tec’s profits for 1994 down 65 per cent to £1.91m from £5.45m the previous year.

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