Mark Parker will step down as Nike's CEO on Jan. 13, 2020, and will be replaced by John Donohoe, the sportswear company's board of directors announced.
Parker first joined the company in 1979 and has served as the company's CEO since 2006. He will move into a role as the executive chairman and still lead the board of directors.
"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."
Donahoe moves to Nike from ServiceNow, Inc., where he is the President and CEO. He previously served as the president and CEO of eBay. He has ties to the Swoosh since serving as a member of the Board of Nike since 2014. He is also chairman of the board at PayPal.
The Action Network's Darren Rovell reports Parker's recent backing of track and field coach Alberto Salazar as he faces a four-year anti-doping ban has nothing to do with the move. Parker and Salazar exchanged emails regarding medical experiments to test the effects of performance-enhancing drugs and how much of a banned substance, such as testosterone, could be used by athletes before triggering a positive test. The United States Anti-Doping Agency banned Salazar, who has denied any wrongdoing and is appealing the decision. Parker said the company investigated the allegations against Salazar before determining he did not break any rules.
In March 2018, Nike initially announced plans for Parker to continue as Chairman, President and CEO 'beyond 2020.' That release came days after a company-wide memo was sent to employees regarding workplace behavior issues that Parker determined needed to change 'so that our culture and our company can evolve and grow.'
Trevor Edwards, who was the No. 2 executive at the time, departed the company amid the changes. No direct allegations were made against Edwards but The Wall Street Journal reported that former vice president and general manager of global categories Jayme Martin and Edwards "protected male subordinates who engaged in behavior that was demeaning to female colleagues" and "bullied people who weren’t in their group." Edwards was widely considered to be a candidate to succeed Parker.
Parker sent the following letter to all Nike employees, where he wrote, "I'm not going anywhere."
On Tuesday morning, Under Armour founder Kevin Plank announced his own plans to step down as CEO.