Nike Investigating Inappropriate Workplace Behavior as Top Executive Resigns

Nike President Trevor Edwards onstage during an Apple launch event on Sept. 7, 2016, in San Francisco
Nike President Trevor Edwards onstage during an Apple launch event on Sept. 7, 2016, in San Francisco
Photo: Stephen Lam (Getty Images)

Nike will be doing some rearranging of its management team after the company acknowledged that it had received complaints about inappropriate workplace behavior and that one of its top executives has resigned.


The Wall Street Journal reports that Nike’s No. 2 executive, brand President Trevor Edwards, who was seen as the potential successor of CEO Mike Parker, will be leaving his position with the company, effective immediately, and will also be retiring from the company come August.

Edwards, 55, has been part of the Nike team since 1992, first joining on as a regional marketing manager. As WSJ notes, he is credited with leading Nike’s push into fitness tracking. He became president of Nike in 2013 and was considered a shoo-in for the title of CEO.

However, Parker sent out an internal memo to staff revealing that Edwards was leaving and that the company had received reports of “behavior occurring within our organization that do not reflect our core values of inclusivity, respect and empowerment” in recent weeks.

“We’ve heard from strong and courageous employees,” Parker added in the memo, which was seen by WSJ.

Exactly what those complaints detailed, or whether they even involved Edwards or other executives, was not made clear in the memo. However, a spokesperson for the sportswear giant told the news site that there were no allegations against Edwards, although the spokesperson declined to go into further detail.

Parker noted that the company will be doing a review of its human resources systems and handling of internal complaints. Parker is now expected to remain as the company’s chairman and CEO beyond 2020, noting in his memo that he was reorganizing leadership to “allow for closer management and a sharper focus on our culture.”

News Editor at The Root, animation nerd, soca junkie, yogi



The saying “absolute power corrupts absolutely” is much more elegant, but I think the truth is that unaccountable power corrupts absolutely.

Whether it’s an executive who is not beholden to an involved and ethical Board of Directors, or a lowly manager who’s own boss can’t be bothered to make sure his underlings aren’t abusing the line level employees.

That’s not just a workplace thing. The same dynamic occurs when someone is elevated to the status of a cultural icon.