Nike’s CEO Mark Parker is stepping down after more than a decade running the world’s largest sportswear company, according to a statement on Tuesday.
Parker joined the company in 1979, worked his way up the ranks and was named CEO in 2006. He will step aside on January 13, but will continue to oversee the board as executive chairman.
Nike has tapped one of its board members, John Donahoe, to take his place. Donahoe, 59, currently serves as CEO of ServiceNow and previously spent a number of years running eBay. He has served as a Nike board member since 2014 and also remains chairman of the board at PayPal.
In a statement, Parker pointed to Donahoe’s “expertise” in both digital commerce and technology and said he is “ideally suited to accelerate our digital transformation.”
While Parker has presided over the company at a time of robust sales growth and a rising stock price, the company has also faced a number of controversies in recent years under his watch. Earlier this month, Parker was found to have a direct link to a doping scandal. According to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, he was included on several emails that outlined the ongoing efforts of Alberto Salazar, a Nike-backed coach, to find a performance-enhancing drug that wouldn’t trigger a positive doping test.
In 2018, two former female employees sued the company and described a toxic workplace culture in which sexual harassment and gender discrimination were not uncommon. They claimed Nike often hired women at lower salaries than men and promoted female employees less frequently than their male counterparts. The women also claimed that reported incidents of sexual harassment were ignored or handled poorly. The allegations rocked the company, prompting an apology by Parker and the departure of several executives, including Trevor Edwards, who was president of the Nike brand and widely considered a top candidate to succeed Parker.
This summer, several current and former female athletes sponsored by Nike said they were financially penalized when they became pregnant. The company responded by adjusting its policy so that female athletes that it sponsors won’t be “adversely impacted financially for pregnancy” for 18 months, rather than 12 months under the previous policy.