Cascade Designs in early July cut 22 jobs from various teams and levels out of its staff of about 500 as part of the brand's reorganization, CEO James Cotter confirmed.

The layoffs are tied to Cascade Designs' shift away from siloed teams to a new structure composed of one team built of multiple functions across all five family-owned brands—MSR, Platypus, Therm-a-Rest, PackTowl, and SealLine.

Sales, marketing, operations, human resources, and accounting will span all brands, whereas product development, design, and testing will both unify and specialize depending on developers by brand, technology, and product category. 

"We retain specialization where it’s important to maintain brand-specific knowledge, such as product design, but leverage expertise across all our brands where it makes sense, such as administrative roles," Cotter told SNEWS.

"As we’ve mentioned before, online retail continues to disrupt traditional retail and competition continues to be fierce from established competitors, private label, and new entrants to the market—the new structure proactively positions the company to be nimble in a continuously changing marketplace."

However, from an outsider's perspective, Cascade Designs will continue to promote the individual brands separately. Brands are rolling out a number of initiatives to continue inspiring people to get outdoors.

"These shifts are not indicative of a slow shift away from American manufacturing," Cotter said. Recently, Black Diamond laid off 70 people as part of a strategical transition from manufacturing in Utah. Cotter said the majority of products have always been made in the U.S. and there are no plans to depart from that strategy in place for nearly 50 years. Offices are in Seattle, Washington; Reno, Nevada; and Cork, Ireland.

Cascade Designs


Therm-a-Rest founders Jim Lean and John Burroughs with the original mattress at the Seattle factory in 1972.

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Cascade Designs Inc.

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