Tech exec John Donahoe to change Mark Parker as Nike CEO – Quartz

Come Jan. 13, Mark Parker, who has been Nike’s CEO because 2006, will move down. Succeeding him as president and main government of the world’s premier sports activities brand will be John Donahoe, a longtime tech govt whose resume implies professional manager far more than footwear visionary.

But that is what Nike’s board evidently thinks it requires as it readies itself for a future focused on data-driven, immediate-to-shopper product sales by tech-enabled outlets and a expanding on-line ecosystem.

Donahoe is at this time the CEO of ServiceNow, a supplier of cloud-computing products and services for world firms. Prior to that, he served as CEO of eBay from 2008 to 2015, and also did a stint as CEO and running director of the management consultancy Bain & Co. He’s been on Nike’s board considering that 2014.

He may possibly not seem like the most apparent selection to realize success Parker, who started at the firm as a footwear designer and has deep expertise and experience in sneakers. What Donahoe does comprehend is technological know-how, some thing Nike has been investing in seriously. Very last 12 months it obtained the data-analytics company Zodiac. This calendar year it acquired Celect, a enterprise specializing in predictive analytics. They are component of Nike’s system of making use of purchaser information to be “more own at scale,” as Parker has previously put it.

The investments have come as element of Nike’s response to major upheavals in how buyers shop. The retail marketplace has struggled with falling foot site visitors and record keep closures. In 2017 Nike announced its intention to emphasis its wholesale small business on a considerably more compact team of merchants. Simultaneously, it has been expanding its have product sales straight to consumers, in particular on line, by its e-commerce web site and applications this kind of as SNKRS and the Nike application. Even Nike’s newest flagship merchants are made to get the job done with its application now.

It calls these various efforts at connecting directly with customers its “consumer direct offense,” and employed Donahoe to lead it. “I am delighted John will sign up for our staff,” Parker stated in a assertion. “His know-how in electronic commerce, technologies, worldwide strategy and management combined with his robust relationship with the brand name, make him ideally suited to accelerate our digital transformation and to construct on the optimistic impact of our Client Direct Offense.”

The announcement comes shortly immediately after the revelation Parker realized Alberto Salazar, a Nike-backed jogging coach, was experimenting with overall performance-enhancing drugs on observe and field athletes. One particular experiment allegedly took place in a lab at Nike headquarters. Previous calendar year, a team of previous Nike employees also submitted a lawsuit versus the firm for gender discrimination that resulted in a administration shake up, like the departure of Trevor Edwards, Nike’s manufacturer president and Parker’s presumed successor.

In its new management composition, Parker will keep on being with the corporation as executive chairman. Nike said he will perform closely with Donahoe and Nike’s senior management.

The news will likely surprise numerous, not minimum of all mainly because it followed shortly following a different major adjust in government management at 1 of Nike’s rivals. Now Below Armour also declared that Kevin Plank, its founder and longtime CEO, will step down from his situation as main govt in January. He’s handing off the working day-to-working day obligations of CEO to the company’s chief working officer, Patrik Frisk, to work much more carefully on Less than Armour’s products and advertising and marketing as its new model main.

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