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President of Nike brand Trevor Edwards (pictured) has resigned from Nike Inc. and will retire in August, amidst reports regarding internal complaints of workplace behaviour.
According to multiple media reports including The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company and The New York Times, CEO Mark Parker wrote in an internal memo that he will restructure the leadership team to enable “closer management and sharper focus” on the company’s culture. His note also touched on Edwards’ resignation, adding that Edwards will serve as an advisor to him until his retirement. Parker also said he is committed to serve as chairman, president and CEO for Nike beyond 2020.
Parker also stated in his note that the company is aware of reports of behaviour within the organisation that “do not reflect [Nike’s] core values of inclusivity, respect and empowerment”. Parker added that he is “disturbed” and saddened by the reports, which neither detailed the nature of the complaints nor whom they concern, media reports stated.
Parker said that a “comprehensive review” of its HR systems and practices will be conducted, and the complaint process will be improved. Nike will also boost and increase investment in its diversity and inclusion teams and networks, as well as implement an enhanced process to encourage employees to speak up.
Marketing has reached out to Nike for more comments.
As president of the Nike brand, Edwards is responsible for leading all category and geographic business units, the Jordan Brand and Action Sports. These include Hurley International LLC, Digital Sport and brand management worldwide, as well as leading Nike’s wholesale, retail and e-commerce operations.
He was responsible for the creation of Nike+ and also helped transform the digital landscape, as well as position Nike as a leader by using social media to connect with consumers globally. Edwards was previously global brand and category management executive vice president, where he was responsible for helping to drive the Nike brand growth strategy by leading its category business units globally. He joined the company in 1992 as a regional marketing manager.
The story was first reported by Marketing-interactive.com.