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Longtime Nike chief executive Mark Parker to step down in January

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Nike’s longtime chief executive Mark Parker is stepping down early next year, the company has announced.

He will be replaced by board member John Donahoe, who formerly ran e-commerce company eBay.

Mr Parker will become executive chairman of the board.

The company’s first quarter earnings last month were higher than expected, but Nike has also been plagued by scandals recently.

Three weeks ago, renowned athletics coach Alberto Salazar was banned for four years by the US Anti-Doping Agency for running experiments with supplements and testosterone that were bankrolled by Nike, along with possessing and trafficking testosterone.

Nike announced it was shutting down its eliteOregon Project track and field programme overseen by Mr Salazar.

Mr Parker said in a TV interview with CNBC that the scandal had “absolutely nothing” with him leaving the top job and that succession plans have been months in the making.

“This is not something that happens in a matter of weeks,” he said.

Last year, allegations of misconduct and gender discrimination led to a leadership shakeup at the company.

And earlier this year, Nike announced changes to its contract policies after the New York Times published opinion articles and videos from female runners saying they risked losing pay if they became pregnant.

Mr Parker, who joined the company in 1979 as a footwear designer, has been chief executive since 2006.

In 2017, he took a 70% compensation cut after a rough year for US sales and the company’s stock price.

The Beaverton, Oregon-based sneaker seller said Mr Donahue will step in as CEO on January 13.

Mr Donahoe is the current president and CEO of ServiceNow, an information technology and software company.

“He really clicks a lot of the boxes that we’re looking for,” Mr Parker said in the TV interview.

Nike’s rival Under Armour will also have a new leader in the new year.

On the same day Nike made its announcement, Under Armour said founder Kevin Plank will step aside as CEO in January and be replaced by chief operating officer Patrik Frisk.

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