Beaverton (AP) - At Nike, the end of an era is approaching: The long-time CEO Mark Parker has announced his resignation.
On January 13, 2020, the 64-year-old will vacate the top position, as the rival company announced on Tuesday after the US market close. As a successor John Donahoe was selected, which currently leads the software company ServiceNow and was formerly head of the online trading platform Ebay for many years. Donahoe has been on Nike's board since 2014.
Parker, who has served as chief executive since 2006, will retain Nike as executive chairman. He has reached financial milestones during his time as Nike boss - sales of the US sporting goods giant and share price have been steadily increasing over the years. With a stock market value of almost 150 billion dollars Nike makes the German archrival Adidas look small, also in terms of sales, the US group is far ahead.
However, business successes have recently been hit by several negative headlines that put Parker under pressure. Reports of sexism allegations and alleged discrimination in the company made the rounds. Of course, at Nike, where Parker sought a progressive image - such as with NFL rebel Colin Kaepernick as an advertising medium, kneeling in protest against the suppression of black American football games demonstratively during the US national anthem.
Most recently, the scandal surrounding Nike's controversial training center called the Oregon Project, whose boss Alberto Salazar was banned for violating anti-doping rules, was added. According to emails and files cited by US media, athletics trainer Salazar Parker allegedly informed several times about testosterone experiments. The affair also brought criticism to the Nike boss who ended the Oregon project, but Salazar expressed his support.
Parker's successor Donahoe should, however, be remembered above all from his time at Ebay, where he was chief executive officer from 2008 until the spin-off of Paypal, a pay-as-you-go bank, in mid-2015. To the fate of the 59-year-old was in his time at the online trading platform especially the billionaire and known for his aggressive interference in the management of financial investor Carl Icahn, who penetrated with his hedge fund on the separation of Ebay and Paypal. At first, Donahoe tried to fend off the attack, but in the end Paypal became self-employed - and there was no room for him in the corporation.
While investors took the announced tip change calmly and Nike's shares hardly reacted after the stock exchange, the message caused elsewhere for violent price fluctuations. Donahoe's departure from the US software company ServiceNow triggered a personal assault which also affects a close friend of the German corporate world. Donahoe's successor is the recently surprisingly resigned as chief of Dax Group SAP resigned top manager Bill McDermott. ServiceNow introduced him after the close of the market as the new CEO and member of the Board of Directors.
McDermott has been with SAP since 2002 and from 2014 as the sole CEO. His contract with the Walldorf software company actually ran until 2021, the reasons for his resignation were so far unclear. McDermott strongly aligned SAP with the lucrative cloud IT services and storage space on the Internet that ServiceNow relies on. Investors did not give the newcomer a warm welcome - the shares of ServiceNow fell after the first trading session with just under twelve percent in the minuses.