Nike’s Brand President Has Resigned

Nike Inc.’s brand president Trevor Edwards has resigned and is retiring in August, a company spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The sports apparel giant said it’s reviewing improper conduct at the athletic-apparel giant as one of its top executives steps down from the job, removing a one-time CEO candidate from its ranks.

In announcing his exit, Nike said that current Chief Executive Officer Mark Parker will stay in the job beyond 2020, delaying a potential succession contest.

Improper Conduct

It was reported that Nike had received in recent week’s report of “behavior occurring within our organization that does not reflect our core values of inclusivity, respect, and empowerment.”

There has been “conduct inconsistent with the sports apparel company’s core values and against our code of conduct,” the spokeswoman said, adding that there have been no direct allegations of misconduct against Edwards.

“When we hear of claims we investigate and take the appropriate action,” she said.

The moves come nearly a year after Nike made several changes to its leadership structure and streamlined its business segments to four from six. It also eliminated a quarter of its shoe styles and cut 2 percent of its workforce.

Parker didn’t specify the nature of the complaints or whether they involved Mr. Edwards or other executives. A Nike spokesman said there were no allegations against Mr. Edwards and declined to provide details.

He also said Nike was conducting a review of the company’s human-resources systems and practices for elevating internal complaints. “This has been a very difficult time,” he wrote.

Both Parker and Edwards, like many of Nike’s top leaders, have spent decades at the Beaverton, Ore., company. Mr. Parker joined the company as a footwear designer in 1979 and has been CEO since 2006.

Edwards, 55 years old, joined Nike in 1992 as a regional marketing manager and worked his way up the leadership ranks. He is credited with championing Nike’s push into fitness tracking. Since 2013 he has been president of Nike Brand and widely considered the heir apparent to the CEO.

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