Nike Shares Swing On News Of CEO’s Departure

Nike To Replace CEO With Digital-Focused Leader John Donahoe

Longtime Nike leader Mark Parker will end his tenure as CEO in January of 2020.

CNBC is reporting that Parker will step down and will be replaced by John Donahoe, who is a board member of the company and the CEO of ServiceNow. He used to be the CEO of eBay and he’s chairman of the board at PayPal.

Nike shares went up and down on the news and shares in ServiceNow dropped more than 10 percent.

Parker has been the CEO of Nike since 2006 when he took over for founder Phil Knight. He’s been at Nike for 40 years, and has worked as the co-president and vice president of global footwear. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who is Nike’s lead independent director and the chair of the board’s management succession committee, said the hire was good for the company.

“In Mark and John, we have two exceptional leaders. With Mark’s leadership, Nike’s revenue tripled and Nike became one of the most iconic and innovative brands in the world,” Cook said. “John has a proven track record as a highly successful three-time CEO and, like Mark, leads with integrity and loves Nike and the world of sport. I know them both well and I could not be more excited they will work together to lead Nike’s next chapter.”

Parker said Donahoe is “the best choice to come in” and “no stranger” at Nike. He said that the company needs to grow digitally and that Donahoe could “enable this next level of growth.” He said that the change was a long time coming and that it took “many months working on succession planning. ... This is not something that happens in a matter of weeks.”

There was a scandal involving Nike’s head running coach and performance enhancing drugs, but Parker said that didn’t factor into the decision about the change in leadership.

In an email at the time, Parker said that he looked into the allegations and found them baseless and that “Nike did not participate in any effort to systematically dope any runners ever; the very idea makes me sick.”

Parker will become Nike's executive chairman.



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