Sports Business/10/23/2019

Mark Parker to Step Down as Nike CEO

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An era at Nike is to end on 13 January 2020: Mark Parker has announced his retirement from the Nike board. But Parker wants to stay with the sporting goods giant and Nike has already announced a successor.

Mark Parker (li.) und sein Nacholger John Donahoe
Mark Parker (left) to Step Down as Nike CEO, John Donahoe (right) will be his successor

Parker has been Nike's CEO since 2006. The 64-year-old can look back on a successful track record: with consolidated sales of 31.8 billion euros in 2018, Nike is the clear market leader ahead of Adidas with 21.9 billion euros. At its inception in 2006, Group sales were still 13.6 billion euros (Adidas had sales of 10 billion euros in 2006).

But it's not only good headlines that fall into Parker's time, last year Parker had to justify himself more than one time: Allegations of discrimination and reports of sexual harassment in the workforce cast a bad light on Parker's management style. Alberto Salazar, head of the Nike training centre Oregon Project, was recently banned because of doping allegations. As a result, Nike decided to close the entire center.

However, this has obviously not harmed the CEO, Parker will retain Nike as Chairman of the Board.

Meanwhile, John Donahoe will take over the executive chair at Nike. The 59-year-old was most recently with the US software group ServiceNow. But most people will know him as president and CEO of eBay. Donahoe led the company from 2008 to 2015.

Donahoe has a seat on Nike's Board of Directors since 2014. With him Nike wants to push its "Consumer Direct Offense": "His expertise in digital commerce, technology, global strategy and leadership combined with his strong relationship with the brand, make him ideally suited to accelerate our digital transformation" says Parker about Donahoe in a Nike statement.

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