Shares of Nike (NKE) are in focus after a report that athletic apparel giant is working to address and correct its “boys club” culture.
“BOYS CLUB” CORRECTION: Nike is in the process of trying to address and correct a “boys club” culture, holding an event on March 20 as part of an initiative to “encourage men to be better allies for their female co-workers,” the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The move came several days after a leadership shake-up that followed employee concerns over representation of women in the company’s top ranks, women’s pay and company culture. Elliott Hill, who was promoted to president of consumer and marketplace in the shuffle, and Michael Spillane, president of product and merchandising, told employees the company needed to create a better environment for its staff. Nike is currently conducting a review of its human resources department as well as establishing mandatory manager training. “When we discover issues, we take action. We are laser-focused on making Nike a more inclusive culture and accelerating diverse representation within our leadership teams,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Parker said in a statement.
WHAT’S NOTABLE: On March 15, Nike announced that Parker will remain as chairman, president, and CEO through 2020 and that Trevor Edwards, Nike brand president, has decided to retire from the company in August. Following the announcement, the Wall Street Journal reported that Edwards, who was seen as a potential successor to Parker, was stepping amid internal complaints about inappropriate workplace behavior. At the time, Parker disclosed in an internal memo that the company had received reports of “behavior occurring within our organization that do not reflect our core values of inclusivity, respect, and empowerment.” Parker wrote, “We’ve heard from strong and courageous employees,” but did not specify the nature of the complaints or whether they involved Edwards or other executives. A spokesperson said there were no allegations against Edwards, according to the report. On the same day, the Journal reported that Jayme Martin, a vice president and general manager of global categories who reported to Edwards, was forced out of the company. Martin joined Nike in 1997 and recently oversaw several of the sneaker giant’s major business divisions, including women’s, running, training and basketball. According to one source, Martin and Edwards protected male subordinates that engaged in behavior demeaning to female colleagues and foreign employees.