In what appears to be an unexpected move, Nike has announced today that the Board of Director's member John Donahoe will be replacing Mark Parker as the sportswear giant’s newest President and Chief Executive Officer starting early next year.
According to Nike, Donahoe will assume his new role beginning Jan. 13, 2020, while Parker, who took over as CEO in 2006, will become the brand's Executive Chairman and continue to lead the Board of Directors and work closely with Donahoe and the rest of the Swoosh's senior management team. Last year, a handful of accusations regarding inappropriate workplace behavior came to light thanks to a group of female Nike employees that ultimately led to a few of the brand's top executives resignation.
Before being appointed to Nike's Board of Directors in 2014, Donahoe served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of eBay as well as the digital payments platform PayPal.
“This is an exciting time for Nike where we see brand strength and momentum throughout the world and great opportunity for future growth,” Parker said in a statement. “I am delighted John will join our team. 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 and to build on the positive impact of our Consumer Direct Offense. I look forward to continuing to lead the Board as Executive Chairman, as well as partnering closely with John and the management team to help him transition to his new role.”
In a separate message to employees, Parker added further clarification. "To be clear, I'm not going anywhere. I'm not sick. There are no issues I'm not sharing. I strongly believe the best way for us to evolve and grow as a company is to bring in a phenomenal talent to join our team who has long been part of the Nike family," he wrote. Parker's full message is embedded below.