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Specialized founder and CEO Mike Sinyard has emailed the company's dealer network about global job losses. Headlined "Specialized realigns organisation for future growth" the email says that 3 percent of Specialized employees will be laid off, and there are key management changes too.

Specialized's US managing director Stu MacLennan, who joined the company from Apple only last year, has "made the decision to leave the company by the end of the first quarter," said Sinyard.

"As we look to the future to create an even better brand that will live forever, we have decided to make some substantive changes in our organization that we believe will make Specialized a more agile brand and in doing so enable us to better serve our riders and strengthen our partnership with you," wrote Sinyard.

He said the company is investing in new R&D space in Switzerland, Taiwan, and at the Californian HQ that "will keep us at the forefront of cycling innovation." He also said Specialized would be investing more in marketing, and improving its supply chain.

"The result is a smaller, more focused team, resulting in a global reduction of 3%," said Sinyard.

He added: "We look forward to continuing to earn your support by providing you the best people, brand, and tools to be the most successful retailer in your market.

In the UK, Specialized had already announced the appointment of Will Fripp as the new marketing director. In September last year Richard Hemington, the long-time UK managing director of Specialized's UK business, stepped down from his day to day role – he resigned as a director on Christmas day.

Sinyard's letter does not specify where the job losses will take place.

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