Executive shakeup

A recent executive shakeup has surfaced from some of the biggest sportswear brands in the industry. Staffing changes happen all the time. With board members essentially swapping positions relatively fluidly without much outward unrest noted. Seldom do we normally get a trio of changes reported at the same time. With Nike, Adidas and Under Armour all making board room alterations all of which are set to take effect in early 2020.

Nike CEO Mark Parker

Nike CEO Mark Parker steps down

The most notable switch up to be announced has to be that Nike CEO Mark Parker has stepped down. Vacating the role he has occupied since 2006, but remaining in the company assuming a new role as an Executive Chairman. Taking his place as Nike CEO will be John Donahoe. He is currently the President and CEO of ServiceNow, Inc. Also having experience previously serving as Chairman of PayPal Holdings, Inc. President and CEO of eBay, Inc. As well as CEO and Worldwide Managing Director of Bain & Co.

Nike CEO Mark Parker

Donahoe has been on the Board at Nike since 2014 and notes that he is excited to up his responsibilities with the company.

“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. 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.”

John Donahoe
Nike CEO Mark Parker

Soon to be former Nike CEO Mark Parker echoed his successor’s positivity. Stating “I am delighted John will join our team”.

“His 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. I look forward to continuing to lead the Board as Executive Chairman, as well as partnering closely with John and the management team to help him transition to his new role.”

Mark Parker

Once the change is effective beginning January 13, 2020. Parker will continue to lead Nike’s Board of Directors. Planning to work closely with Donahoe and the company’s senior management team.

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank steps down

In similar fashion to the news coming from Nike. Their underdog competitors Under Armour have also announced CEO Kevin Plank will be stepping down. Plank has been acting as Chairman and CEO since he founded the Baltimore-based brand in 1996. Now in a similar move to that made by Nike CEO Mark Parker, his role will transition. Making Kevin Plank an Executive Chairman and Brand Chief where he will primarily focus on “product elevation, amplifying the brand story and stewarding the company’s strong team culture.”

Kevin Plank’s incoming successor is Patrik Friske. A veteran executive that joined the company as President and Chief Operating Officer in 2017. Friske comes into the role with significant applicable experience. Having worked as CEO of The Aldo Group. Also spending over a decade with VF Corp where, for a time, he acted as Coalition President of the Outdoors Division overseeing brands like The North Face and Timberland.

“Patrik’s proven track record of industry experience, straightforward leadership style and championship of our brand and culture makes him uniquely positioned to smartly capitalize on the opportunities in front of us, As I envision our future – I look forward to further partnering with Patrik to continue our pursuit of becoming the best athletic brand in the world. I am confident that we are just getting started.”

Kevin Plank

Friske will assume his new role as Under Armour CEO on January 1, 2020.

Adidas Executive Eric Liedtke departs company

The most eyebrow-raising of the trio of executive shuffle comes out of Adidas HQ. So much so that you can’t really claim this particular announcement as a shuffle. As Adidas Executive Eric Liedtke is parting ways entirely with the brand at the end of the year. Liedtke has been working at the Three Stripes for two decades. Working his way up from Global Line Manager for Cross Training to a lynchpin for securing coveted collaborations.

Most notable for being instrumental in the partnerships with Parley for the Oceans and various influential creatives, including Kanye West, Beyoncé and Pharrell. All of which he is credited as being central to.

Eric Liedtke has done a great job in positioning adidas as the creator sports brand I can only praise his marketing expertise, his unrivaled passion for our brands and his commitment to sustainability. Together with all adidas employees, I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Eric and wish him all the best for his future endeavors.

Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted

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