// Nike CEO Mark Parker to step down in January
// He will be replaced by Nike board member John Donohoe, who is also a former PayPal executive and a former eBay CEO
// The news comes as Nike pivots towards digital and direct-to-consumer strategies
Nike’s longtime chief executive Mark Parker is stepping down early next year, as the sportswear giant pivots towards digital and direct-to-consumer strategies.
Parker will be replaced by board member John Donahoe, who is also a former PayPal executive and a former chief executive of eBay.
He will step in as the new chief executive on January 13.
Meanwhile, Parker will become executive chairman of Nike’s board.
The news comes shortly after reports emerged that Nike had warned dozens of independent retailers via a letter that it would stop supplying them by 2021 as it focuses efforts on its direct-to-consumer division.
- Nike to end supply agreements with indie retailers
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Nike already has plans in place to generate 50 per cent of its sales through its own stores and ecommerce platform to help boost profits and margins as well as have more control over its distribution.
Parker’s resignation also follows a higher-than-expected first quarter earnings for Nike last month, as well as a string of recent scandals.
Three weeks ago, renowned athletics coach Alberto Salazar was banned for four years by the US Anti-Doping Agency for running experiments with supplements and testosterone that were bankrolled by Nike, along with possessing and trafficking testosterone.
Nike announced it was shutting down its elite Oregon Project track and field programme overseen by Mr Salazar.
Parker said in a TV interview with CNBC that the scandal had “absolutely nothing” with him leaving the top job and that succession plans have been months in the making.
Meanwhile, allegations of misconduct and gender discrimination led to a leadership shakeup at the company last year.
Nike also announced changes to its contract policies after the New York Times published opinion articles and videos from female runners saying they risked losing pay if they became pregnant.
Parker, who joined Nike in 1979 as a footwear designer, has been chief executive since 2006.
On the same day Nike made its announcement, Under Armour said founder Kevin Plank will step aside as CEO in January and be replaced by chief operating officer Patrik Frisk.