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Nike brand president retires, CEO responds to workplace behaviour complaints

The brand president of sportswear manufacturer Nike, Trevor Edwards, has announced that he will be retiring from the company in August 2018 as the company faces down reports of workplace complaints.

There is no suggestion that Edward’s resignation and the company’s response to workplace complaints are related.

An internal memo written by Mark Parker, which was obtained by Fast Company magazine, has been sent to the company’s employees, said he was “disturbed and saddened” by recent reports.

The memo stated: “Over the past few weeks, we’ve become aware of reports of behavior occurring within our organisation that do not reflect our core values of inclusivity, respect and empowerment at a time when we are accelerating our transition to the next stage of growth and advancing our culture.”

Edwards will continue to serve as an advisor to Parker until his retirement while Nike reshuffles its management in response to the complaints. According to Parker this will allow for “closer management and a sharper focus on our culture”.

The restructure will see Elliott Hill, former president of Nike Geographies, take on the new role of president of consumer and marketplace. He will be responsible for marketing,  geographies, Nike Direct and global sales. Michael Spillane will continue to lead all categories, design, product and merchandising. Both Hill and Spillane will report directly to Parker.

Commenting on Trevor’s departure, Parker said: “I’d like to thank Trevor for the important role he has played for 25 years and for his significant contributions. He has helped us grow and strengthen our brand on a global scale. I am committed to stay in my role as chairman, president and CEO beyond 2020.“We are fortunate to have a strong management team in place who is well suited to drive our next stage of growth and to steward and evolve our culture in the future.”

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