Former eBay CEO, John Donahoe, is set to assume the role as chief executive of Nike after Mark Parker announced he will be stepping down in January 2020 after 13 years with the sportswear giant.
Parker will become executive chairman of the board of directors and continue to work closely with the senior management team, Nike said in a press release.
The announcement by Nike was made just hours after Under Armour revealed that its founder, Kevin Plank, would be stepping down from his role as CEO to become executive chairman and brand chief.
“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 press release.
“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.”
“To be clear, I’m not going anywhere,” he said, according to Bloomberg.
“I’m not sick. There are no issues I’m not sharing.
“I strongly believe the best way for us to evolve and grow as a company is to bring in a phenomenal talent to join our team who has long been part of the Nike family.”
Parker’s surprise departure comes several weeks after reports alleged that the chief executive exchanged emails with the Nike-backed running coach Alberto Salazar and the Nike-sponsored Dr. Jeffrey S. Brown regarding their experiments with performance-enhancing drugs and creams for athletes.
Nike responded to these reports with the following statement to The Wall Street Journal: “At the time Alberto was concerned that Nike runners could be sabotaged by someone rubbing testosterone cream on them.
“Mark was shocked that this could be the case and given Mark’s passion for running, Dr. Brown and Alberto made Mark aware of their findings.
“Mark Parker had no reason to believe that the test was outside any rules as a medical doctor was involved. Furthermore, Mark’s understanding was that Alberto was attempting to prevent doping of his athletes.”