Nike President Resigns Amid Review of Misconduct

Gladys Abbott
March 17, 2018

In a number of executive changes announced by USA sporting goods giant Nike, the company's chairman, president and CEO Mark Parker is to remain in the role beyond 2020 - while Nike brand president Trevor Edwards, who had been seen as a potential successor to Parker, is to leave the business this summer.

The Journal cited a Nike spokesman saying there were no allegations against Edwards.

In it, Parker says Edwards' departure coincides with a broader pattern of employee complaints about behavior that goes against the company's ethos of "mutual respect, inclusion and teamwork". In a memo to employees, though, portions of which first appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Parker indicated there was a lot more to the story.

It describes the company enduring a "very hard time" and promises an HR review to "elevate" internal complaints.

The good news is, his departure doesn't seem to be a sign of "business deterioration", Wedbush analyst Christopher Svezia said in a report. In the same memo, Parker said Edwards would exit the company effective immediately. He has led Nike since 2006. Another executive, Elliott Hill, was elevated to the role of overseeing the consumer and marketplace division as part of Thursday's announcement. Others considered to be in the running to replace Parker as CEO include current chief operating officer, Eric Sprunk, and Michael Spillane, who is in charge of design, products and merchandising.

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The shakeup comes as Nike tries to cope with a sales slump in its key North American market.

Parker thanked Edwards for his 25 years of work in a statement on Thursday.

ESPN obtained the internal communication from Nike CEO and chairman Mark Parker.

"He has helped us grow and strengthen our brand on a global scale", Parker said.

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