Nike CEO Mark Parker Steps Down After 4 Decades

Board member John Donahoe will replace him

photo of man in front of Nike Just Do It checkmark logo
Mark Parker stepped into the CEO role in 2016. Getty Images
Headshot of Ann-Marie Alcántara

Nike’s longtime CEO Mark Parker is officially stepping down.

Parker, who has been with the brand for four decades and stepped into the CEO role in 2006, will stay on as an executive chairman. John Donahoe, who’s the current CEO and president of ServiceNow, Inc., will step into the role, effective Jan. 13, 2020. Donahoe was previously president and CEO of eBay.

“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. “[John’s] 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.”

The move signals where the future of Nike is going, with Donahoe’s strong expertise in digital. In 2017, Nike unveiled “Nike Direct,” an effort to focus on its ecommerce business and improve its supply chain, with a lofty goal of reaching $16 billion in sales by the end of 2020. The company’s free Nike Plus app has more than 170 million members and has rolled out a Snkrs app dedicated to selling limited-run items. The company also launched Nike Adventure Club, a subscription service for kids in August, and opened up its House of Innovation store in Shanghai. In its most recent earnings call, Nike announced revenue was up to $10.7 billion. 

Parker’s tenure wasn’t free from controversy. He was linked to a recent doping scandal, and runner Alysia Montano wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times in May that Nike’s contracts allegedly stated athletes were paid less—or nothing at all—if they became pregnant.

Additionally, Parker is stepping down the same day that competitor Under Armour’s CEO and founder, Mark Plank, stepped down.

“It is an honor to become president and CEO of this amazing, innovative company and to join the more than 76,000 talented and passionate employees dedicated to serving athletes,” Donahoe said in a statement. “Over the last five years, I’ve been proud to be connected to Nike through my role on the board and now look forward to being a full-time member of the team, working even more closely with Mark, building on Nike’s success and seizing the opportunities ahead.”

Additional reporting from Diana Pearl. 

@itstheannmarie Ann-Marie Alcántara is a tech reporter for Adweek, focusing on direct-to-consumer brands and ecommerce.