Nike’s CEO Mark Parker, who created the award-winning Colin Kaepernick ad campaign plans to step down from his post in January 2020.
The company announced in a press release: “John Donahoe will be appointed as the company’s new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective Jan. 13, 2020. At the same time, Mark Parker, CEO since 2006 and Chairman, President & CEO since 2016, will become Executive Chairman and continue to lead the Board of Directors and work closely with Donahoe and the senior management team.”
Parker was at the helm when Nike released the September 2018 ad featuring the athlete turned activist Kaepernick, The Epoch Times reports. It ultimately won the “outstanding commercial” award during the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in 2019.
“He’s coming in with a lot of experience around consumer digital, enterprise technology, global strategy, leadership, he’s a great developer of talent,” Parker said of Donohue. “He really clicks a lot of the boxes we’re looking for and to add horsepower to Nike.”
“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,” said Donahoe in the press release.
“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.”
Nike and Kaep have partnered since 2011, but the campaign was the first time the company embraced the activist movement. Kaepernick hasn’t played for the 49ers’s since 2016 and is suing the NFL for collusion to keep him from playing.
The ad was unleashed for the 30th anniversary of Nike’s first Just Do It campaign and Nike also released ads featuring Serena Williams, NFL receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., and one-handed football player Shaquem Griffin, who made the Seattle Seahawks for the upcoming NFL season.