Today, it was reported that Trevor Edwards, Nike’s brand president and a possible successor to CEO Mark Parker, would be retiring in August.
Fast Company has obtained the letter that Parker sent to employees today. In it, Parker says Edwards’s departure coincides with a broader pattern of employee complaints about behavior that goes against the company’s ethos of “mutual respect, inclusion, and teamwork.”
Here is an excerpt of the letter:
“Over the past few weeks, we’ve become aware of reports of behavior occurring within our organization 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. This disturbs and saddens me . . .
“We are going to be doing a comprehensive review of our HR systems and practices along with elevating our complaint process for matter[s] of respect issues. We will increase and invest more heavily in our diversity and inclusion teams and networks and additionally will immediately put in place an enhanced process to encourage our employees to speak up and make their voices heard . . .
“Further I want to share with you that in light of my desire to accelerate change, I’ve made the decision to restructure my leadership team into a different alignment that will allow for closer management and a sharper focus on our culture . . . I also want to communicate that I am committed to serve as Chairman, President, and CEO for Nike beyond 2020. Trevor Edwards has decided to resign as Nike Brand President and will retire in August. He will serve as an advisor to me until his retirement as we transition the organization.
“I’d like to thank [Edwards] for his significant contributions to Nike over the last 25 years. He has helped us grow and strengthen our brand on a global scale . . . “