Mark Parker to step down as Nike CEO after 13 years

Mark Parker to step down as Nike CEO after 13 years
Copyright 2019 CNN
Mark Parker will step down as Nike's CEO next year after 13 years leading the footwear company.

Mark Parker will step down as Nike’s CEO next year after 13 years leading the footwear company, Nike announced Tuesday.

Parker, 64, has been a Nike employee since 1979, rising through the ranks and holding such positions as product designer and co-brand president. He was appointed CEO in 2006.

Parker will hand the reins to John Donahoe, a current Nike board member and CEO of cloud computing company ServiceNow, Inc. Parker, previously chairman of the Nike board, will become executive chairman after he steps down, which he is set to do on January 13, 2020. The company says Donahoe will help propel Nike’s digital transformation, which has been a key element of Nike’s business strategy in recent years.

The shock announcement comes less than two years after Nike had said Parker would remain CEO “beyond 2020.”

Parker’s tenure at Nike has been marred by two major scandals in the past two years. In the spring of 2018 there was an executive overhaul and multiple lawsuits over alleged gender discrimination and a “boys’ club” culture at Nike. More recently, the company shut down its running club, Nike Oregon Project, after longtime coach Alberto Salazar was banned from the sport for four years for doping violations.

Parker shot down the idea that those issues were involved in his stepping down as CEO in an