Who: Kevin Carroll
Has held title for: 2 years
Previous title: Category innovation director
As Nike's katalyst, it's Kevin Carroll's job to nurture and care for the company's inner spirit, provoke new ways of thinking, and motivate and inspire — the entire organization. It's a mighty tall order, but Carroll's got game. "I'm the conscience, the voice, and the connector of the company," he explains. "I travel around the world to promote the culture and the spirit of Nike."
What does a katalyst do for the shoe business?
I provoke significant change or interaction. My job is never to be in my office, but to be out and about interacting with people inside and outside the company in order to come up with creative, innovative ideas. At Nike, we have a lot of hallway meetings. I'll jump in on a conversation or two, share ideas, and then move on.
How well is your personal chemistry suited to Nike?
I spent 10 years in the Air Force as a translator, taught high-school health and athletic training, and was the director of sports medicine for the Philadelphia 76ers. So I've learned a lot about team dynamics and interpersonal communication.
What's one experiment you'd like Nike to undertake?
We should be an advocate for play. You know, you gotta fight for the right to play dodgeball!
A version of this article appeared in the October 2001 issue of Fast Company magazine.